…Yakubu gives room for manipulations, INEC is a culprit -Secondus
…INEC is setting dangerous precedent -Dogara
Tunde Opalana, Abuja
As the nation sets for another round of polls in the supplementary governorship elections in six states this weekend, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has warned the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to redeem the battered image of the Commission and give Nigeria a facelift in international democratic process.
The leaders of the party at its 85th Emergency National Executive Council meeting in Abuja on Wednesday took turn to condemn in its entirety, questionable roles played by the Electoral Commission in the 2019 General election which has demented the principles and practice of democracy in the country.
The party called on Prof. Yakubu to use the conduct of the March 23 supplementary elections it declared in Adamawa, Benue, Bauchi, Kano, Sokoto and Plateau states to rebuild his integrity which has been dragged in the mud by the conduct of INEC in the February 23 presidential and National Assembly and March 9 governorship / State Assembly elections.
The National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, said INEC has put the country under intense pressure and distress with the situation of uncertainty it placed the polity with declaration of inconclusive elections unprecedented in the history of Nigeria.
Secondus said: “The INEC chairman need to know that this country needs to settle down and put all issues of election behind us. This kind of inconclusiveness in our Electoral system are becoming unprecedented.
“The attention of INEC chairman is highly needed at this time that Nigerians and the international community are watching. History will judge him. If nothing is done to douse this tension and allow it to truncate the country, history will not be kind to him.
“Let us warn Prof. Yakubu, you cannot run away from the fact that you must conclude the election in Bauchi State. The onus is on you. Yakubu, you are the one delaying this process and the whole world know it. How can you not conclude election in one month?
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, in his contribution, reminded INEC that Nigeria should escape the trap of always getting slanted as bad when they are looking for example of a bad precedent.
Dogara said: “Elections are done all over the world, elections are conducted in Africa and at no time have we heard of this inconclusive elections in other jurisdiction. Ghana elections were held not long ago.
“And it will be very unfortunate if INEC which is led by a first class Professor of Political Science sets this very dangerous and unacceptable precedent in our political history.
“What has happened is pure evil, our consolation as members of this party is that evil does not last and no evil doer has ever escaped punishment. If they do what others have done before, they will see what those who done evil saw. Definitely they cannot escape from it. This is a law of nature and in the scripture of God, that whatever you sow so you shall reap”.
The speaker chided leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for attempt to grab power at all cost.
He said: “Also for those who believe in power for the sake of power, not because they want to empower people, not because they want to better the lives of our people.
There is also lessons they can learn from history, history is now replete with examples of all those who pursue power, for the sake of power. Their lives have always ended in semi- tragedy that await anyone who seek power for the sake of power. We have seen that display in Nigeria”.
Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, in his contribution, said it was unfortunate that the PDP did not lose the Presidential elections but a loss to the country.
He said: “We have done an election that no doubt anybody and even those that think they have won are ashamed of the kind of election that we did. I think it is a shame to the country and to those that were given that responsibility to do.
“They (INEC) have Saturday as their last opportunity to try as much as possible to reclaim part of their embarrassment to the country, how can a country like Nigeria has the Speaker said, Ghana has done it, even Congo, and even Zimbabwe have done elections.
And we say we do elections, with seven inconclusive, we did elections before, in 2015, we did it in 2011, 1999 and after so many years, this is what we can produce.
“It is not a loss to the PDP, it is loss the country, and it just shows the level of desperation”.
Saraki appealed to party members to stay resolute, assuring them that APC victory will be short lived because PDP has a great future ahead and he believes the party will start that on Saturday to make sure that it defends those five states that are declared inconclusive.
The party’s vice presidential candidate, Peter Obi, said while the party blames the INEC and the security agencies for infractions in the Electoral process, the biggest shame goes to those who are directing state institutions to do the wrong thing.
“If you choose to be a leader, especially with APC that claims integrity, the biggest corruption and the biggest show of a government that does not believe in integrity is to rig election. Because the process through which you come into office, is far more fundamental than what you do thereafter.
“I think we should hold them responsible for what is happening in this country now. The examples we are setting for the young ones, I don’t know what they will tell a young man who is cheating in an exam in this country after seeing the ways our elections are conducted.
“I don’t know what they will tell those who are robbing banks and kidnapping people, because we have seen the biggest of it by this election where people are happy after robbing the nation and their states”, said Obi.
While the party commended members by their resilience and steadfastness, he urged them to keep faith in its leadership and steps taken so far in redressing its mandate at the Tribunal.
The PDP national chairman said after the Saturday’s supplementary elections, the party will do a post mortem of the entire electoral process and come out with resolutions.
Present at the meeting include members of PDP National Working Committee, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker Yakubu Dogara, former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara, who is Secretary of the Board of Trustees, former governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, former deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu, former governor of Anambra State, Jim Nwobodo and Kabiru Tanimu Turaki as well as former and serving National Assembly members.