PDP Challenges Buhari To Address Electoral Violence, Rigging

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to address the issues of violence, killings and alteration of election results by the All Progressives Congress (APC), under his watch and end attempts to divert from the real issue using the alleged unconstitutional third term he could never get.

PDP said that the issue of third term was already a dead end, which his touted respect for the constitution would never give life to, the PDP also accused the APC and the Buhari government of driving towards truncating the nation’s 20 years democratic gains, citing the recent Bayelsa and Kogi States elections as evident.

However, with respect to its misfortunes and internal crisis, more PDP stakeholders have begun to call for the full implementation of the party’s Post-Election Review Committee report chaired by former Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu.

While challenging Buhari, PDP, in a statement by the its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, noted that if President Buhari sought to uphold the constitution, he should have used the APC NEC meeting to directly and strongly condemn his party’s resort to violence, killing, forceful invasion of polling units and alteration of results to seize power in the November 16th Kogi and Bayelsa States governorship election as well as the Kogi West Senatorial election.

“President Buhari by now ought to have summoned his service chiefs and ordered a presidential investigation into the violence and observed infractions in the elections, including the deployment of a Police helicopter to teargas voters. It is important to state that such a failure however registers grave meanings to Nigerians.”

The opposition party also said it was unfortunate that instead of taking concrete and decisive steps to bringing the perpetrators of the heinous crimes in Kogi and Bayelsa to book and give assurances of electoral reforms, President Buhari was rather concerned about an impossible third term.

“Our party notes that from President Buhari’s speech, it is clear that he is more interested in the survival of the murderous APC than the survival of democracy, which his party is doing all to truncate since the impunity that was introduced by the APC to manipulate greater part of the 2019 Presidential elections”, PDP stated.

The PDP therefore urged Nigerians to note the president’s well-informed fears that the APC might not survive his tenure.

“Such is a bitter truth of the inevitable mortality of a devious platform upon which Nigerians experienced the worst form of suppression, deprivation and cruelty ever in the history of our nation. Indeed, there is no hope for APC.

“The APC is a party that has brought so much division, bloodletting and hardship to Nigeria, so much that compatriots resorted to suicide and slavery mission abroad as options. Such platform can only thrive for a while.

“It is therefore advisable for Mr. President to abandon the true and unambiguous picture of the fate of his dying party and concentrate on ways to address the problems brought by his administration on Nigerians.

“Instead of attempting to spur a public discourse out of unattainable third term or seeking to mend an already derelict APC, Mr. President should know that Nigerians’ expectation of him, in this second and, of course, last term, is the restoration of rule of law and a legacy of electoral reforms that will guarantee free, fair and credible election in Nigeria. Anything short of this is unacceptable,” the statement stated.

In a different statement on Saturday evening by Ologbondiyan, the PDP said, “We also reject the proposed Kogi West Senatorial rerun election, which has already been desecrated by the manipulations in the main election.

“As long as the figures in the main election are fundamentally flawed, the proposed rerun cannot reflect the wishes of the electorate and Nigerians are wondering if it will make any sense to participate in an electoral process that is already deficient.

“Nigerians across board have completely lost faith in the nation’s electoral process given that Independent National Electoral Commission under Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has been annexed and cannot conduct any free, fair and credible election.

“For us in the PDP and, we believe, to majority of Nigerians as well, Professor Yakubu is the worst electoral umpire in the political history of our nation”.

PDP also claimed the police and the military high commands have been reduced to tools of election brutality to ensure that votes do not count.

“Even the Police high command has openly admitted that the police is incapable of protecting voters and votes, thus validating the reported involvement of security agents in the brutalisation of voters and disruption of electoral process.

“More distressing is the fact that Nigerians, particularly our members and supporters in Kogi and Bayelsa states, are still in trauma over the murderous November 16 elections. A lot of our people have been killed and our members are still grieving”, the main opposition party said.

The PDP posited that there were reports in the public space that the APC-controlled federal government did not want Senator Dino Malaye in the Senate just because of his forthrightness in defending the interest of the people.

“Nigerians recall with shock how, at the presentation of the 2020 budget, Mr. President reportedly asked Senator Malaye ‘you, you mean you are still in this chamber?’ A question which meaning cannot be farfetched!

“Our party has been made aware of how INEC and security apparatus have been instructed to use all means to stop Senator Dino from returning to the Senate. INEC had also blatantly refused to consider Senator Melaye’s petitions regarding the November 16 election.”

Meanwhile, the PDP said that it remained strong and undeterred, adding, the party was aware of that fact that millions of Nigerians looked unto it for strength and direction in their quest for freedom and preservation of their rights, adding, “For this, we will remain resilient till the end.”

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