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Published On: Wed, Dec 18th, 2019

2023 election promise: Walk your talk -PDP tells Buhari

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By Lateef Ibrahim

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to demonstrate his commitment for free, fair and credible electoral process in Nigeria by immediately returning the Electoral Act amendment bill to the National Assembly for accelerated consideration with a commitment from him to sign it into law upon passage.
The PDP, in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja, urged the President, as a demonstration of his birthday declaration, to also include a presidential order for the immediate prosecution of the killers of Mrs. Salome Abu and all those killed in the last Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections.
President Buhari, while speaking in Abuja yesterday on the occasion of his 77th birthday celebration, had declared that he will bequeath a legacy of free and fair elections to Nigeria in the 2023 general election.
However, PDP, which expressed serious doubt about the President’s declaration, described it as a diversionary posturing, which cannot sway Nigerians to place any trust in present administration as far as elections are concerned.
The leading opposition party, nonetheless, advised the President, if he wants to be taken serious, should order the release of information to Nigerians on who was responsible for the deployment of a police helicopter to attack voters, who queued up to perform their civic responsibilities and aided the manipulation of the Kogi governorship election, to favour his party.
The PDP maintained that President Buhari cannot claim to be committed to free and fair election after he refused to sign the amendment to the Electoral Act and had continue to endorse the outcome of bloody and manipulated governorship elections that occurred in Bayelsa, Kogi, Kano, Ekiti, Osun as well as the 2019 general elections, in which he and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), were huge beneficiaries.
The PDP statement reads, “Furthermore, Mr. President cannot rightly assert a commitment to electoral reform when he congratulated all beneficiaries of past flawed elections, while his administration failed to take any decisive step to bring known riggers and perpetrators of violence in these elections to book.
“Our party notes that penance is a process from which a President is not forbidden. However, we invite Mr. President to note that the true electoral reform, which our nation requires today, goes beyond mere verbal posturing.
“He needs to openly support the strengthening of our electoral laws and the decisive application of the provisions thereof.
“The PDP therefore tasks President Buhari to demonstrate that commitment for free, fair and credible electoral process by immediately returning the Electoral Act amendment bill to the National Assembly for accelerated consideration with a commitment from him to sign it into law upon passage.
“The demonstration of this birthday declaration should also include a presidential order for the immediate prosecution of the killers of Mrs. Salome Abu and all those killed in the last Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections.
“Mr. President should as well order the release of information to Nigerians on who was responsible for the deployment of a police helicopter to attack voters who queued up to perform their civic responsibilities and aided the manipulation of the Kogi governorship election to favour his party.
“Moreover, as part of a commitment to this birthday declaration, Mr. President must assure Nigerians that he will not interfere in the process of legislative consideration of all amendments required in the electoral act, which is the only way to guarantee free, fair and credible elections in our country”, the statement said.

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