National chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus has challenged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to initiate the amendment of the Electoral Act to legalise electronic voting to ensure free, fair and credible elections.
Secondus, who made the call when he received INEC verification team at the party headquarters, Wadata Plaza, Abuja, Monday said, “As an opposition party, it has not been easy operating under a ruling party whose understanding of democracy is impunity, intimidation and coercion.
“We are standing vindicated in the eyes of many electoral watchers as all our fears and apprehensions ahead of election came to fruition in the general election of February and March this year, the preceding governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states earlier and the latest being the November 16, 2019 gubernatorial election in Bayelsa and Kogi states.”
The PDP chairman also lamented that, “despite a standing lawful court ruling that military should be kept at a distance during elections as secondary security, we have all watched how they not only took over the primary security role from the Police but in some instances dictated and even connived with some INEC officials.
Secondus claimed, “Nigerians have watched how the electoral body, unable to control the military, relinquished their responsibility to them and still curiously went ahead to authenticate such fraud.”
Continuing, he said, “I am not going to bore you with issues that is well known to your commission in your reviews of elections but I would like to urge your commission to move quickly and initiate Electoral Act amendment that will legalise electronic voting and remove the influence of the military as primary security on the Election Day.
“The ruling APC, unlike the PDP, is not disposed to any electoral law that will prevent them from manipulating the system, we in PDP expect INEC to be at the forefront of the process to have legal frame work for the conduct of free, fair and credible election.
“Such legal framework should address the issue of security, electronic voting and collation of results and punishment for electoral offenders.
Secondus also cautioned that the survival and sustenance of Nigeria’s democracy rest squarely on the integrity of the electoral commission which will derive from the character and the impartiality of its operatives.
On his part, the leader of the INEC delegation, deputy director, Election and Party Monitoring, Musa Husunu, assured that they would convey all the grievances and suggestions of the PDP to INEC leadership.
Husunu explained that they came to PDP as part of the ongoing verification exercise for the 91 political parties In Nigeria.