PDP decries inconclusiveness, militarisation of elections – Independent Observers

PDP decries inconclusiveness, militarisation of elections

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By Andy Chukwu

Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have decried that spate of inconclusive gubernatorial elections across the country.

The party, at an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja yesterday, complained about the inability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conclude the elections in record time.

The PDP is particularly worried that almost two weeks after the governorship and state assembly elections were held on March 9, some of them are still inconclusive. Winners of the governorship elections are yet to be declared in seven states. The states are: Kano, Sokoto, Benue, Plateau, Adamawa, Bauchi and Rivers states. The concluding part of the elections are billed to hold in the states on Saturday.

The main opposition party is also worried about the “militarisation” of the elections in many states in the South -south geo-political zone.

Uche Secondus, the National Chairman of the PDP, who presided over the emergency meeting, called on the military not to allow themselves be called out again for what he described as illegal duties.

He enjoined the military and other security agencies to resist any attempt to be dragged into paying manipulative roles in Saturday’s supplementary elections.

Secondus said “inconclusive” is a rigging strategy introduced by the INEC to aide the All Progressive Congress (APC) and its candidates.

He expressed optimism that PDP candidates will emerge victorious in the upcoming supplementary elections in five of the six states that the election will take place.

Secondus said that posterity will hold the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, responsible for the consequences of all his actions.

“The way they are going about getting court injunctions stop elections that have already been held, if we also go to court to stop inauguration of elected officers, it will disrupt the democratic process.

“If INEC has to give people the opportunity to go to court, we too can go to court and stop the swearing in ceremony, be it the President or other (APC) governors,” Secondus said.

Senate President Bukola Saraki said the result of the presidential and state elections reflected the strength and character of the PDP and urged members to build on the foundation.

Saraki said the victory of the APC in the presidential and state elections will be short lived, adding: “We have a great future ahead and I believe we will start that on Saturday to make sure that we defend those five states that are declared inconclusive.

“If anybody believes that it is a loss to PDP, it is a loss to the country that history will not forgive. We said it many times here, that the worst to do is to do an election that our country, Nigeria will not be proud of.

“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 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 have this type of election? Ghana has done it, Congo and Zimbabwe have done elections. And we say we do elections, with seven inconclusive. We did elections in 2015, we did it in 2011 and 1999 and after so many years, this is what we can produce.

“It is not a loss to the PDP; it is to the country. It just showed the level of desperation. I have confidence that this will be short-lived and, as such, let us ensure on Saturday that these fives states that are ours remain within the PDP and INEC should, for once, do what is right,” Saraki said.

Yakubu Dogara, the Speaker of the  House of Representatives, said the inconclusive elections are strange phenomenon that are being introduced into election process by INEC.

“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 jurisdictions. Ghana elections were held not long ago.

“It will be very unfortunate if INEC, which is led by a first class Professor, set this very dangerous and unacceptable precedent in our political history. That I want them to take note of.

“And also 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 did evil saw. Definitely they cannot escape from it. It’s a law of nature and in the scriptures of God, that whatever you sow so you shall reap.

“This is 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 pursued power for the sake of power. Their lives have always ended in tragedy that awaits anyone who seeks power for the sake of power. We have seen that display in Nigeria.

“For us as members of this party, I don’t want us to despair, even though we have inconclusive elections in some states. In five of those states, PDP clearly won the election in those states,” Dogara said.

Peter Obi, the PDP vice presidential candidate, said the Buhari Administration should be largely blamed for them unprofessional misconduct of INEC and the security agencies, for directing them 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 there after.

“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 examination 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.

“The chairman said we will do a post mortem after the election. I thank the party, because it is the party that is going to court, not just the presidential candidate going to court to challenge this rascality.

“I, as a person, have always believed that the biggest enemy of freedom or progress are happy slaves. And thank God that this party has chosen this path, and we will all stand by it,” said Obi. \

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