By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
Barely a year to the conduct of the 2019 general elections, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said it has lost confidence in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), with a call on the commission’s Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, to vacate his seat if he can no longer carry out the responsibilities of that office.
The PDP equally demanded for the immediate review of voters register, particularly in Kano and Katsina; as well as revalidating the voters register to eliminate all the minors from the register.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, who said this while addressing journalists in Abuja, insisted that no election must hold in these states until the register is sanitized.
The opposition party further alerted Nigerians to what it called “the intolerance trend adopted by APC (All Progressives Congress) and its government in some states that are now demolishing property belonging to opposition members and perceived opponents of their 2019 re-election bid”.
The PDP kicked at the plan by INEC to ask the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, to help it monitor campaign funds, describing it as clearly an illegal and Machiavellian way of suppressing opposition’s financial contribution and spending.
“It is a plot to detain, defame, intimidate and illegally block bank accounts of opposition members under the pretext that they have been mandated by INEC to monitor campaign funds”, the leading opposition party said.
Ologbondiyan, in his address, said, “As you are aware, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been indicted for registering and issuing permanent voters card (PVCs) to millions of underage persons, particularly in Kano and Katsina states respectively.
“You are also aware that it took a press statement from the PDP and concerted outcry by Nigerians before the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu-led commission reluctantly accepted responsibility for this illegality.
“However, INEC has refused to take decisive steps to restore the sanctity of its register, particularly in Kano and Katsina states, but has rather made a puerile explanation of plans to investigate the allegation.
“As we speak, the credibility of our electoral process under the current INEC is hugely in doubt. The nation was last Wednesday terrified by the commission’s Director of Publicity and Voter Education, Mr. Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, who announced that INEC registered minors because its agents were threatened by members of the communities in those states.
“By this alarming and unpatriotic statement, INEC under Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has completely discredited and disqualified itself and cannot be trusted to conduct a credible, free and fair general elections in 2019.
“The import of this statement is that INEC under Prof. Yakubu is not firm in its acts and will consequently cave in and accept any form of irregularities once it is put under pressure by members of a voting community. It goes to say that this INEC can readily announce false results, cancel elections, alter polling procedures and allow any irregularities during the 2019 general elections once it is threatened by the All Progressives Congress (APC) or any other group for that matter.