- Rejects use of ex-NYSC members as ad-hoc staff
- Provide evidence or shut up, INEC tells PDP
By Lateef Ibrahim and Ali Alkali
The Presidential Campaign Organisation of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has rejected the proposed plan by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to make use of past National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members as ad-hoc staff for the 2019 general elections.
The leading opposition party announced its rejection of the plan at a press conference addressed by its National Publicity Secretary and Director of Media and Publicity of the Organisation, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan.
The Party, in rejecting the idea, described it as a ploy to use All Progressives Congress, APC, card-carrying members as polls officers.
Ologbondiyan declared that the PDP and other Political Parties would resist any attempt by INEC to draft the former Corps members who were card carrying members of the APC for the polls under whatever guise.
He declared that it was very instructive to state that the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, strike has not by any measure evacuated its members from the surface of the earth.
According to him, “If INEC sought to use the members of ASUU for the 2019 elections, the ongoing strike will not be an excuse to deploy APC members
“We totally reject these plots to thwart electoral transparency in 2019 and we invite lovers of democracy and global democratic institutions to show more than a passing interest in our democratic process.
“On the whole, the PPCO invites the INEC Chairman, Professor Yakubu to bear in mind that all what Nigerians demand for is a transparent, free, fair and credible elections that reflect only the will of the people, as directly expressed at the ballot.
“Any attempt by anybody to subvert the will of the people will be highly resisted by Nigerians in their determined resolve to elect a new President, come February 16, 2019”, he said.
On the alleged pressures on the INEC to manipulate election results, the PDP cautioned the Chairman of the Commission to immediately disentangle
himself and his commission from the fresh plot by the APC and the Buhari Presidency to compromise the electoral guideline and pave the way for the alteration of the results of the 2019 general election to favour President Buhari.
According to him, “We urge Prof. Yakubu to note that Nigerians are already aware of the pressure being placed on him by the Buhari Presidency and APC seeking to force the commission to drop the display of results at the polling units as well as the electronic transmission of polled figures to INEC server from its guidelines.
“The Buhari Presidency is desperate to remove these requirements because the display of results at the polling units ensures that results posted at all levels remain those originally announced at the various polling units, while the electronic transmission to INEC server ensures that the results from the polling centers are not tampered with.
“PDP also demands that INEC allows both local and international observers to its situation room to ensure that the final figures are not tampered with.
“The APC and Buhari Presidency are mounting pressure on INEC to drop the requirements, so as to pave way for their planned alteration of results and allocation of fictitious figures to President Buhari during the collation process.
Prof. Yakubu must not succumb to the pressure of the Buhari Presidency,
because doing so will definitely set him on a collision course with Nigerians.
“This demand has become imperative in the face of allegations and public
apprehensions that the INEC Chairman is being offered humongous sums of money, running into billions of naira, by agents of the APC and the cabal at the Buhari Presidency to accede to their demands.
”Information at our disposal further reveals that the INEC Chairman has been under pressure from this group said to be coordinated by President Buhari’s blood relation in INEC, who, we are surprised, Prof Yakubu still allows around himself.
“Prof. Yakubu is now counseled to distance himself from these very dangerous racketeers and the commission from this very dangerous racket, as Nigerians will directly hold him responsible should these two important guidelines that guarantee transparency in the elections suddenly disappear from the INEC manual,” he said.
However, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, dismissed the allegations and urged the PDP to provide the evidence in its possession to prove them.
“Otherwise, the PDP should cure itself of this recurring hallucination which I am sure Nigerians no longer buy.
“Certainly, INEC is not into the rigging business,” Oyekanmi tell News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).