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Published On: Thu, Mar 22nd, 2018

PDP cautions against intimidation of NASS members

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By Lateef Ibrahim

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has declared that nothing should be done by government or anybody to intimidate or harass the National Assembly members from carrying out their constitutionally assigned role of lawmaking.
This is even as opposition party sought the intervention of the United Nations to help guide gains what it called, the subtle plot by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to rig the 2019 general elections.
The National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus said these yesterday while playing host to a delegation of the United Nations led by Mohammed Ibn Chambas.
Secondus pointed out that the PDP has lost confidence in the ability of INEC to conduct credible polls, warning that Nigerians will resist any attempt to impose an unpopular government.
Secondus, while noting that the National Assembly had made several laws in the past without any complaints, wondered why the new law on the order of election should be seen differently.
According to him, “National Assembly members should not be intimidated .They should be allowed to make laws. They were elected and mandated to make laws by the people. They have made several laws in the past. PDP is ready to abide by laws made by the National Assembly “.
While decrying, for the umpteenth time, the alleged manipulation of the voter register by the electoral umpire, Secondus also drew the attention of the UN team to the “mindless killings going on in the country”, stressing that same could be part of grand design to prevent some eligible voters from casting their votes in 2019.
In his words, “INEC has not lived up to expectation. It should come out in clear terms and be seen as an umpire. Since they took over, a lot of issues have trailed their conduct of elections.
“ We don’t have confidence in the leadership of INEC. There are no perfect elections anywhere in the world but there are glaring issues of concern.
“We suspect that INEC will rig the elections but Nigerians will resist. We suspect that the rigging will start from Borno State, especially with the number of people in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps,” said Secondus.
He added that in the past elections conducted under the leadership of Professor Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC, “Some people were prevented from the polling units by security agents”.
Also brought to the attention of the UN delegation was the alleged registration and voting by minors in Kano during a recently conducted council polls.
According to the PDP boss, “The registration of the underaged is part of their rigging strategies,” noting that the party is prepared to release a video evidence of the alleged electoral manipulation.
Secondus further reiterated the readiness of the party to incorporate youths and women in the governance of the nation, saying that contemporary world thrives on the energy and resourcefulness of the youths.
According to him, “We have 35 per cent affirmative action for women participation written in our party’s constitution. We intend to do more and we believe that with young people, there will be more energy”.
Earlier in his remarks, Chambas had said that the delegation was at the party’s secretariat to get a feel of PDP’s readiness for the poll vis-à-vis its observation of the electoral process ahead of the polls.

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