By Lateef Ibrahim
The National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, on Thursday expressed some fears over the ability of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) to conduct free and fair elections in 2019.
Secondus expressed the fears when he played host to the United Nations assessment team led by Mr. Serge G Kubwimana who paid a visit to the party leadership in Abuja.
The UN team has already expressed its readiness to provide technical assistance to INEC ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The PDP National Chairman, while raising the fears about the political nation’s political climate, pointedly declared the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) government owes Nigeria free and fair election in 2019, stressing that that is the only guarantee for the unity of this nation.
While maintaining that the 2019 general elections will make and mar the nation, Secondus said: “This visit is timely because of the unfolding event in our country and the political situation, I believe this is the time for intervention.
“We have fear since APC came on board, if election is not in their favour there is a rerun. There must be election that is free and fair and when there is no free and fair election it breeds crisis and we are witnessing what is happening in Kenya.
“What is happening in the West should happen here. There is a great fear as to whether INEC will conduct free and fair election.
“Free and fair election will guarantee the unity of this country and we are afraid if INEC will conduct free and fair election.
“Take this to New York for all the necessary action required. Election is coming in 2019, the election that will make or Mar the nation. What this government owns this nation is to conduct free and fair election. The National Assembly and the judiciary, they are important arms of the government, the judiciary is not obeyed”, he said.
Secondus pointed out that in the history of this nation, it was only PDP that lost election and did not challenge it in court.
“During our time, we lost without going to court and that is the first time in the history of this country,” he said.
The leader of the UN team, Mr. Serge G Kubwimana, said that they were meeting with political parties to form assessment on how to support them.
He assured that they will meet with all stakeholders in the electoral process while assessing the political and security environment as well as legal frameworks in order to situate the capacity needs of the electoral body.
According to him, “Assessment can’t be done without interacting with the stakeholders, judiciary National Assembly, civil society.
“At the end of the mission we will set up recommendations on technical issues which will help to improve the overall environment for the elections.”
He noted that since elections is a sovereign issue, their recommendations will not be in contact with the countries.