The Peoples Democratic Party’s Governors Forum has been urged to desist from actions and statements, that are aimed at unnecessarily dragging the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, into matters of its party politics and campaign of calumny.
The warning was contained in a statement issued in Lagos on Monday and signed by the Secretary General of the Yoruba Revolutionary Assembly, Prince Joseph Olarinde.
The group was reacting to the resolution of a meeting, by the PDP Governors Forum led by the Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose which on Monday passed a vote of no confidence on the ability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free, fair and credible elections in 2019.
“While we respect the freedom of the PDP governors to associate and raise issues on matters of State, including the activities of INEC, we consider the vote of no confidence on the INEC and its Chairman, as uncharitable, biased and unpatriotic.
There is no doubt, about the track records of Professor Mahmoud Yakubu and his pedigree, which has been attested to both locally and internationally, being enough assurance and guarantee to give every benefit of the doubt about His sincerity and competence, to lead INEC and give Nigerians, credible elections, come 2019.” the statement said.
The group further lamented what it described as ‘unscrupulous’ the collective attitude of some politicians, particularly in the PDP, who have made it a regular routine, to blackmail and discredit the commission, despite the level professionalism, Integrity and patriotism with which INEC, under the Chairmanship of Professor Mahmoud Yakubu has continued to deliver on its constitutional mandate.
The group said the PDP Governors should be reminded, that INEC under Professor Yakubu, has maintained credible standards of transparency and electoral integrity, as could be seen in election it has conducted in Anambra, Osun, Oyo and some other places where even opposition parties became victorious.
It also said Nigerians are now more awakened and conscious of their electoral rights, and no umpire will be allowed to manipulate the wishes of the electorate, against whoever they give their mandates.
The group further warned politicians, against embarking on negative campaigns against the INEC and its leadership, in manners, which fall far outside the bounds of fair exchanges, adding that political stakeholders should show appropriate respect for the role of INEC, its independence, and the channels for appropriate discourse.
“As a group, we believe that the persistence of campaign for the removal of Professor Yakubu, is dangerous to the polity and public confidence that the entire national leadership of INEC is free from threats from politicians.”
The group call on lovers of democracy, to speak against any attempt by desperate politicians, to derail the INEC, from pursuing it’s objective, of giving Nigeria a free and fair credible election, come 2019.