By Chuks Okocha
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday advised the reappointed Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to go to Ghana and United States and do a study from their electoral bodies on how to conduct free, fair, transparent and credible elections.
The PDP told Yakubu not to resort to excuses but to use the more than two years ahead of the 2023 general election to rejig the electoral commission and work out legislations and operational rules that will guarantee a free, credible and all-inclusive electoral process.
The party charged Yakubu to learn from the Ghana electoral commission, which is making more room for a more all-inclusive electoral process by kick-starting special voting system to enable personnel of critical service providers cast their ballots days ahead of the December 7, election date.
According to a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party also advised the INEC Chairman to study how the United States credibly conducted a keenly contested 2020 presidential election without government interfeence and use of security to suppress the wishes of citizens as expressed at the polling units.
The PDP urged the INEC Chairman to engage political stakeholders in legislations, rules and field procedures, so as to curb violence, ensure the security of electoral materials and guarantee the safety of voters.
The party said: “The INEC Chairman should initiate processes and procedures that will guarantee prompt arrival of ballot materials, rapid accreditation and voting; instant transmission of results from polling units as well as seamless collation of figures.
“Our party demands Prof. Yakubu to improve on legislations that restrict the involvement of security agencies in voting and collation processes, check underage and alien voters, vote-buying, alteration of results and manipulation of voter register”.
The PDP urged Prof. Yakubu to pursue an amendment to the Electoral Act to make it mandatory for INEC to publish voter register online, thus terminating the doctoring of the register and accreditation process.
According to the spokesperson of the PDP, “It is therefore instructive to restate that with the new appointment, Prof Yakubu has been given an ample time and opportunity to redeem the image of the commission and give our nation a credible election that will be devoid of the failures, disappointments, miscarriages and litigations that characterised his first five years tenure.
“Our party urges the reappointed INEC Chairman to note that the 2023 general election will hugely impact on the fate of over 200 million Nigerians. As such, he must ensure that the nation does not go down in his hands.”