The PDP governors accused the electoral body of conducting itself as a tool of the APC-led Federal Government
• Pass no vote confidence on electoral body
• Ruling party, INEC dismiss allegation
Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has claimed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is working for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a communique issued at the end of its emergency meeting in Abuja, yesterday, the PDP governors accused the electoral body of conducting itself as a tool of the APC-led Federal Government and therefore passed a vote of no confidence in the electoral umpire.
According to the communique signed by the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, who is also the chairman of the Forum, the party noted that there was need for INEC to reinvent itself and become a truly independent electoral umpire.
“For now, we have no confidence in INEC. The commission has conducted itself as a tool of the APC-led Federal Government, especially with the roles of the Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, and a National Commissioner, Mrs. Amina Zakari.”
Also, the PDP governors condemned the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Electoral Act amendment bill passed recently by the National Assembly.
According to them, the decision of President Buhari to withhold assent to the new electoral law is an indication that he and the ruling APC were afraid of the introduction of technology into the electoral system.
But in a swift response, the APC dismissed the PDP’s allegation, maintaining that it lacked the credibility and rectitude to question the integrity of INEC.
This is just as the electoral body reaffirmed its determination to conduct a free, fair credible polls.
Spokesperson of the ruling party, Yekini Nabena, challenged the PDP to retrospect on the elections it conducted in the past 16 years it was in charge, arguing that they were riddled with fraud, irregularities and litigations.
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He said the statement by the PDP was a confirmation that they were losers.
“PDP knows that it cannot withstand the ruling party in a free and fair poll and that must have informed the recent alarm targeted at discrediting INEC.
“I want to emphasise that APC has confidence in INEC and before PDP can discredit INEC, they should retrospect and appraise the performance of INEC during their 16 years in power and compare it with the performance of INEC now. The PDP knows that it didn’t conduct credible elections while they were in charge.
“In case PDP forgot, let me remind them that almost all the elections INEC conducted under them ended in litigations. They were marred by fraud and irregularities. PDP lacks the moral to criticise INEC. The APC cannot degenerate to level of PDP in discrediting INEC,” he said.
Reacting to the allegation, INEC said it was not bothered about the attack from the PDP since Nigerians were appreciative of the credibility it has recorded so far.
According to Rotimi Oyekanmi, Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu: “Since the inauguration of the current leadership of the INEC in November 2015, the Commission has been putting various measures in place to improve and strengthen the electoral process. And in doing so, the Commission has also carried all stakeholders along.
“Not only that, by putting all cards on the table at all times, INEC has continually demonstrated integrity, transparency and efficiency. The efforts are paying off. Only on August 31, the Commission brought the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) to a close after registering a record 14.5 million voters in 16 months.
“The Commission has also conducted about 190 different types of elections, including six governorship elections, none of which has been overturned. From the feedback we are getting from Nigerians, they are appreciative of our efforts and our pledge is that we will deliver a free, fair and credible 2019 General Elections.”