PDP nurses fear over credible polls in 2019
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed fears over the ability of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration to conduct free, fair and credible elections in 2019.
National chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus stated this Wednesday while playing host to a United Nations (UN) delegation which paid him a courtesy visit at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
Addressing the delegation, Secondus said the the conduct of elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under the stewardship of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has brought fear in the minds of the people that the 2019 polls may not be credible. “Over the years, we were in power as a party for 16 years to be précised. We midwived and deepened democracy.
“ In the last 2015 election, we lost and conceded defeat, without attempting to go to court. On record, it is the first time it has ever happened in this country. We did not go to court and our candidate did not go to court.
“We realised it was democracy and the will of the people. But we have fears today that since APC came to power, all the elections we have conducted came with huge question mark,” said Secondus, who also chided the electoral umpire for performing below the expectations of Nigerians in the past couple of years.
“As a matter of fact, this (INEC) is the only electoral body that has conducted elections several times and they (government) will call for a re-run when it is not in their favour,” he noted, asking the delegation to “Look seriously in the area of free and fair elections that guarantee security.
“This is a point that must be noted by the UN body that what they have done in the past; the electoral umpire and the federal government have not guaranteed free and fair elections.
“We are very worried whether 2019 will be free and fair. On his part, leader of the UN delegation, Serge Kubwimana said the team was in the country on a need assessment mission.”
According to him, “ the team will take input from political institutions in Nigeria in order to determine the thematic areas of possible assistance to INEC as the 2019 elections draw closer.
“This mission has been deployed from the UN headquarters in New York city. It’s a mission that has been deployed in response to request on electoral system from the chairperson of INEC.
“And the way we do it in UN, in order to determine the areas of support, we conduct this type of mission and the overall context at which the election is taking place: the political violence, security and the like, the legal framework, the capacity and needs of the electoral management body.
“This is really what this mission is here for and our assessment cannot be done without interacting with the main stakeholders, obviously INEC, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), political parties and some of the key institutions: the judiciary, the National Assembly etc,” Kubwimana stated.