- Demands explanation for Buhariâ€™s â€˜technical stopoverâ€™
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) registered over 4,000 All Progressives Congress (APC) agents as observers for the Ekiti and Osun State governorship elections.
The party said the admission by INEC of existence of underage voters in its voterâ€™s register has vindicated the position of the PDP and clearly showed that â€œwe have not been crying wolf where there was none.â€
In a statement issued thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP asked the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to explain to Nigerians why his commission secretly registered over 4,000 APC agents as observers.
â€œINEC should explain why it registered observers without the knowledge of other stakeholders, particularly the major political parties contesting in the elections.
â€œIt is clear that the sneaky activities of the commission and the APC are all aimed at institutionalising their planned rigging of the governorship elections, but we want to assure Nigerians that such will be firmly resisted at all levels of the electoral process.
â€œWe therefore demand the immediate cancellation of the registration of observers for the Ekiti and Osun States governorship elections, and demand the conduct of a fresh registration that involves all stakeholders if indeed they want Nigerians to have faith in their processes,â€ it said.
PDP said Yakubu must understand that Nigerians are taking note of the erosion of the independence and public confidence in INEC under his watch and are not ready to accept any process or results that do not reflect the democratic will of the people in any election at any level across the country.
On the issue of under-aged voters, the party said it was opposed to INEC unilaterally undertaking to clean up the election register without involving all stakeholders which include political parties in the process.
According to the statement, â€œWe reject moves by the indicted commission to unilaterally clean up the discredited register and eliminate the minors without involving all stakeholders including political parties in the process.â€
PDP said the reason was â€œbecause it has already been made aware that INEC, under Yakubu, was instructed by the presidency and the APC to retain the underage voters, particularly in Katsina, Kano and other porous states where they plot to use them to rig election for President Muhammadu Buhari.
â€œThat INEC has been compromised by the APC clearly demonstrated in their earlier spirited denials of existence of underage voters in the register.
â€œNigerians are aware that INEC only admitted the illegality following preponderance of incontestable documentary evidences exposed by the PDP.
â€œFurthermore, we are already aware of other illegalities being perpetrated in INEC by the APC to manipulate the electoral process not only for the 2019 general election but also the forthcoming governorship elections in Osun and Ekiti States.
â€œWe are aware that a blood relation of President Buhari, who has been made in charge of very sensitive department in INEC, has been perfecting all manner of rigging plans, including the exposed plans to create illegal 30,000 polling units in porous areas to be used to allocate votes for President Buhari.
â€œWe are also aware of underhand registration of APC agents as election observers as well as the manipulation of votersâ€™ and constituency data to favour the APC.â€