PDP needs to show some decorum, says INEC
Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of denying its candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, access to inspect the documents and materials used in the February 23 presidential election.
In a swift response, however, the commission said the PDP should show some decorum in the way it composed its press statement.
The party made the allegation in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, alleging that the INEC leadership has refused to obey the March 6, 2019 ruling of the Appeal Court, directing it to allow the party to inspect the electoral materials and document used for the presidential election.
The party, also, claimed that the commission’s act was a ‘deliberate and wicked’ ploy, acting in cahoots with the All Progressives Congress (APC) “to frustrate the people-backed resolve by the PDP to timeously file and mention our petition at the Presidential election Tribunal, and by so doing, ambush the case.”
It said the INEC leadership and the APC “are seeking to frustrate the party’s court option, seeing that the documents and materials would expressly show that Atiku clearly won the election by the votes directly delivered at the polling units across the country as well as expose how the commission and the Muhammadu Buhari Presidency manipulated the results.
“It is imperative to inform Nigerians that upon obtaining the lawful order of the Court, directing INEC to forthwith, avail Atiku Abubakar and the PDP copies of all the documents and other materials used for the Presidential election, our legal team wrote to the INEC Chairman on the 11th and 12th of March 2019 respectively, causing the Order to be served on INEC and requesting access to the said documents and materials.”
“Despite being served with the Order and several follow-ups, the leadership of INEC has refused to grant the PDP and Atiku Abubakar access to the materials and documents, notwithstanding the urgency of the matter.
“This action by the leadership of INEC has further exposed that it has been heavily compromised by the Buhari Presidency to rig the February 23, 2019 Presidential election and to frustrate the quest by Nigerians to reclaim the mandate from President Muhammadu Buhari and save the nation from the crisis of an illegitimate government.” The party, therefore, cautioned INEC to note that Nigerians are now aware of its manipulative tendencies and that any further delay in granting access to the materials might attract public odium. It added that INEC should therefore end its unpatriotic partisan shenanigans with the APC and immediately obey the Court of Appeal and grant the PDP and Atiku access to the documents and materials and free itself from unholy entanglement with the APC against Nigerians.
Meanwhile, the commission has insisted that it has a good record of obeying court orders, adding that if and when the Commission receives the orders of the court, it would comply.
The Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi said in reaction to the allegations made against the commission by PDP.
He said that it is common knowledge that since the declaration of the results of the Presidential election, the Commission has been very busy with the multiple activities regarding the National Assembly, Governorship, State Houses of Assembly and Federal Capital Territory elections.
He stressed that only last Thursday, the commission presented Certificates of Return to Senators-elect and House of Representatives Members-elect including PDP members.
Oyekanmi nod that it was clear that the Commission has been fully engaged with hardly any breathing space and I am not sure that it is in receipt of the letter which the PDP claims to have sent.
He stated: “But let me also say this. The PDP needs to show some decorum in the way it composes its press statements. The INEC Chairman and Commission members deserve some respect.
“The PDP’s frequent use of offensive and abusive words, which secondary school students get to read very often is unhelpful. It is advisable for every political party to show good examples and a deep sense of responsibility in the way it composes press statements for public consumption,” Oyekanmi added.