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2019 Election Is Under Threat, Secondus Tells EU

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National chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Prince Uche Secondus, yesterday alleged that the 2019 general election is under threat because the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are not disposed to conduct free and fair polls. The national chairman stated this while hosting officials of the European Union who visited the party’s Wadata House headquarters in Abuja, led by Ambassador Ms Beatrice Markussion, deputy director of Africa Division, European External Action services, Head of EU delegation. Secondus said intelligence at the disposal of the party shows that the government and the electoral commission are plotting to rig the 2019 general elections .He also expressed concern about the level of preparation for the election by the ruling party, saying it is disappointing.
“Our major concern is that INEC and security agencies are working hand in hand to rig the election for the APC,” he said. He continued, “What they did in EKiti State in July and they are still preparing to repeat it in Osun on September 22, is en ough evidence that they are not ready to conduct free, fair and credible elections.
“The Chairman of INEC Prof Mahmud Yakubu should go beyond verbal promises and put into action credible and practical processes for election,” the party national chairman said.
Secondus added that the APC is not preparing for election because they know they have nothing to offer the electorates having divided the country and dragged the economy almost to a comatose state.

“This government has divided the country, borrowed over N11 trillion yet hunger is ravaging our people as the economy slides.
“Records show that more Nigerians have been killed in the last three years than during the civil war yet the government remains insensitive to the situation,” he said.
The national chairman said that government’s disregard for the rule of law and human right has degenerated to the extent where the home of a 90 year elder statesman, former minister of Information, Edwin Clark, was raided last week by operatives of the state police.
He added that regardless of the apology tendered by the Inspector General of Police, the state should go further to probe the shameful act since it is obvious that the officers did not send themselves on the operation.

The national chairman explained to his visitors the internal democracy processes in place by the party to ensure free and fair process in line with the rebranding spirit of the party.
The EU leader commended the party for providing robust opposition which is necessary for democracy to strive. She noted that in a matter of months, the focus of the global community would be on Nigeria to see how it copes with her election processes.
She said that EU and indeed all lovers of democracy are interested in Nigeria’s elections. Other members of the delegation include Ambassador In Ketil Karsen, Head of EU delegation to Nigeria, deputy head Richard Young.
Similarly, the national publicity secretary of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement, counseled President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC to perish the thoughts of staying in power a day beyond May 29, 2019.

The PDP also cautioned the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu not to allow the APC and the Buhari Presidency to use him to execute their plots to frustrate the conduct of credible 2019 elections and push for illegal tenure elongation for President Buhari.

“The PDP is aware that the mooting of postponement of the already scheduled general elections by the INEC Chairman, is a product of series of clandestine meetings between his commission and the APC on ways to frustrate the 2019 elections, having realized that there is no hope for President Buhari in the polls.

“Nigerians and the international community have also noted the various ploys by INEC to frustrate a credible elections, including its stiff opposition to the amendment of the Electoral Act by the National Assembly to check APC rigging plans in addition to its exposed collaborations with INEC to manipulate the voters register, enrol underage voters and secretly creating 30,000 illegal polling centers in certain remote areas from where it plans to allocate fictitious votes to the APC.

“Nigerians may recall that the PDP had earlier alerted of the plot by the Buhari Presidency to enmesh the 2019 elections into a needless controversy by deliberately delaying the presentation of the election budget to the National Assembly until the time the parliament was proceeding on annual recess.

“Ostensibly to ensure that the election does not escape controversy, President Buhari demanded that the fund be taken from already approved budget for lawmakers’ constituency votes, despite entreaties by well-meaning Nigerians for a fresh budget for the elections.

“Seeing that Nigerians are standing shoulder to shoulder with the PDP to resist and dismantle their rigging machinery, the APC and Buhari Presidency are now trying to use INEC to frustrate the elections and cause crisis in our country.

“The PDP therefore rejects this plot by APC and INEC. The 2019 election must hold as scheduled. Nigerians are ready for elections and cannot wait to vote out President Buhari and his dysfunctional APC.



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