The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP on Wednesday said President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent comments on the nation’s electoral process under the current Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is a clear admittance that 2019 general elections were not credible.
The party stated this in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan. It specifically challenged President Buhari to reciprocate the benevolence of Nigerians by recreating an electoral atmosphere like the one that brought him into office in 2015.
It maintained that if President Buhari was committed to ensuring free, fair and credible electoral process, he should reintroduce the 8th National Assembly’s Electoral Act Amendment bill, which he refused to sign, and make a fresh commitment to sign it into law immediately.
The PDP observed that the President Buhari’s comments had raised fresh issues on the credibility of the February 2019 Presidential election.
The statement said that President Buhari in demanding that INEC and the Police should ensure that the will of the people prevailed in free, fair and credible elections, told the story of fraudulent election results since the present administration came into office.
“This is including the recent elections in Bayelsa and Kogi where the All Progressives Congress, APC, turned the respective states to theaters of war, yet Mr. President congratulated the ‘winners’ of those charades.
“In his own words, in a meeting with INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, at the Presidential Villa, Mr. President said, “our elections must be done in violent-free atmosphere. The process must be free, fair, decent and devoid of intimidations and malpractices. It is the duty of the police to accomplish that and this is what I expect in the elections immediately ahead and going forward”.
Reacting, the PDP said "the fact remains that the violent manipulations of the 2019 general elections in favour of the APC and its candidates will continue to stare the nation in the face. Mr. President’s remark shows that, in their innermost conscience, beneficiaries of manipulated polls are always confronted with the truth.
“Furthermore, the PDP tasks the management of INEC and the Police to come clean of the details of their recent meeting with President Buhari which is coming ahead of about 28 impending runoffs and by-elections scheduled for this month.
“Our party holds that INEC is an independent electoral commission whose activities and processes are clearly governed by the law and extant rules and not by the dictates or prescriptions of the President.
“Mr. President should, therefore, steer clear of INEC while the commission must assert its independence and desist from going to the Presidential villa for instructions on elections. Nigerians have their doubts if the hugely compromised INEC under Professor Yakubu can be anything independent.
“He should order the prosecution of security agents involved in the invasion of polling centers and shooting at voters in recent elections.