Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, to immediately tender unreserved apology to the people of Rivers State for saying that credible elections is an abnormality in the area.
Ganduje, while answering questions from State House Correspondents in Abuja last Friday on the preparations of his party, the All Progressive Congress (APC), towards the re-run elections in the state said: “You know in that part of the country having free and fair elections is not normal and we have to make it normal this time.”
While reacting to the statement credited to Ganduje, the PDP described it as unfortunate and an indictment on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which has been conducting elections in the place.
In a statement issued by the PDP spokesman, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the party asked INEC to demonstrate its independence by ensuring that the forthcoming election in Rivers State is free, fair and credible
PDP said the governor’s statement was not only unfortunate, but “ridiculous and absurd to say the least.
“It is highly unbecoming of a governor to make such an unguided statement that denigrate the people of the whole State and the South-south region in general. The statement is also a veil threat that the coming election in Rivers State will be manipulated as usual by the APC using the INEC and the security apparatus of state.”
PDP also urged the security agencies to continue to maintain their constitutional role and duty of protecting lives and properties in the country and maintaining law and order during elections.
“Our attention has been drawn to an unfortunate and ridiculous statement credited to the Ganduje and Chairman of the APC Rivers State Re-run Elections Campaign Committee, Alhaji Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, wherein he says having a free and fair elections in Rivers State is abnormal and in fact that free and fair elections in the South-south region of the country is abnormal.
“If free and fair elections have been “abnormal” in the region according to the governor, it is due to the manipulation and the win-at-all-cost attitude of the APC.
This desperation of the APC to win at all cost was exposed by the recent decision of the Court of Appeal which upturned the re-run election in Opobo/Nkoro State constituency of Rivers State in favour of our candidate, Mr. Diri Adonye; wherein the Appeal Court emphatically stated that the Election was massively rigged.
“Nigerians can now see who has been manipulating elections and causing the state of abnormality in the region. Ganduje’s statement is also an indictment on INEC because the governor is saying in effect that INEC has never conducted a free and fair election in the region and INEC should respond immediately to defend its own integrity.
“We are therefore calling on INEC to demonstrate its independence by ensuring that the forthcoming election in Rivers State is free, fair and credible. The electoral umpire since the inception of this APC administration has been wobbling from ‘Inconclusive elections’ to ‘advanced rigging’ and we wish to urge INEC to graduate from this ‘macabre dance’ to conducting free and fair elections in order to regain the confidence and trust of Nigerians and the international community as a neutral and an unbiased umpire that it is supposed to be.
“We also call on security agencies in Nigeria to continue to maintain their constitutional role and duty of protecting lives and properties in the country and maintaining law and order during elections.
“In addition, we demand that Ganduje tender an unreserved apology to the good people of Rivers State and the South-south region in general for this humiliating and undignified statement.