2023: PDP Reacts To INEC’s Alarm About Threatened Polls, Says Nothing Short Of Free And Fair Elections Is Acceptable
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reacted to the alarm raised by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, on Monday, about how next month’s polls are threatened due to the state of insecurity in most parts of the country.
The party has come out to say nothing short of a free, fair and credible election would be acceptable to it during the general election which starts next month.
Casat News reports that the PDP told Punch that the commission’s warning vindicated the opposition party which has been raising an alarm over electoral violence before now.
The opposition party’s reaction follows Yakubu’s pronouncement about how the polls are threatened due to the insecurity ravaging most parts of the country and the tendencies it poses to the cancellation of the election.
This platform reported on Monday that the electoral body noted that insecurity across the country might be a threat to the forthcoming election.
Yakubu also noted that the security situation in the country will not only hinder the declaration of election results but also precipitate a constitutional crisis in affected areas.
Yakubu, who was represented by the Chairman of the Board of Electoral Institute (BEI), Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, revealed this at the validation of election security training resources held in Abuja on Monday.
He said, “We all appreciate the fact that Election Security is vital to democratic consolidation through the provision of enabling environment for the conduct of free, fair, credible and inclusive elections and thus strengthening the electoral process.
“Consequently, in preparations for the 2023 general elections, the commission is not leaving anything to chance in ensuring that intensive and extensive security is provided for election personnel, materials and process
“This is particularly significant to the commission given the current insecurity challenges in various parts of the country and the fact that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members constitute the core of the Polling Unit Election officials.
“Moreover, if the insecurity is not monitored and dealt with decisively, it could ultimately culminate in the cancellation and/or postponement of elections in sufficient constituencies to hinder the declaration of elections results and precipitate a constitutional crisis. This must not be allowed to happen and shall not be allowed to happen.”
The PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, while reacting to INEC’s revelation told Punch “We have been talking about this to the press. When we started this a long time ago, people said it was a false alarm. The security agencies and the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), who promised the whole world that there would be peace, should remember that nothing short of a free, fair and credible election will be acceptable.
“The reality on the ground is that since 2019, there have been over 50 attacks on INEC facilities.
“In 2022 alone, INEC in its findings said there have been well-coordinated and bizarre attacks on its facilities. They are doing this so that the elections will not take place.”
Meanwhile, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is yet to react to the development as the party’s spokesperson Felix Morka told Punch that he would react on behalf of the party only after listening to what the INEC chairman said at the event.
Morka remarked that “I am not aware of that story yet. I was not there, and I have not read the statement. So, afford me the time to hear what INEC said before I react.”