Few days into the campaigns for 2019 general elections, the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), passed a vote of no confidence on the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmoud Yakubu and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, insisting that they must be removed from office.
The main opposition party yesterday stated that the two public officers have exhibited unparallel bais and must leave if Nigeria is to witness transparent, free and fair general elections.
The party made this position known just as its presidential flagbearer, Atiku Abubakar, boasted that he will enthrone the most dynamic fiscal transparency in the country if elected into the office.
PDP at its 83rd National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting at the Wadata House in Abuja, maintained that the level of bias so far exhibited by Yakubu and Idris are so glaring that both personalities are not likely to see a transparent election go through in the country.
According to the national chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, “The state of affairs of our country is getting worse by the day and as the APC government continues in all ramification, to show that it lacks the wherewithal to manage our country, the nation had been in a great mourning mood since last week when troops were brutally murdered in Metele, Borno State, by Boko Haram terrorists with exact figures of casualties yet unknown one week after”.
He argued that INEC Chairman and the IGP have consistently shown bias in previous elections and have therefore become enemies of democratic institutions.
“We therefore call on the INEC leadership headed by Prof Yakubu to quietly resign because he does not have strong will and courage to conduct free and fair election. He should resign.
“We also call on the IGP to resign and go because I have never witnessed in the history of our nation, from the First Republic, even in the military regime, this kind of act and the way and manner the Police Force have been used by the government of APC against the people.
“Our people are being killed on daily basis and as I speak with you, leaders of PDP have been earmarked to be murdered. The country will rise to defend the values of our founding fathers, and of our democracy. We are not afraid. We want the nation to be rescued from hunger and killings,” he said.
Atiku, while speaking at the occasion, his first since emerging as the party’s presidential candidate, promised to bring in time-tested economic team that would run a robust national economy which will propel growth and development.
He expressed gratitude to the party and all the former presidential aspirants for believing in his capacity to fly the flag of the party in next year’s presidential election.
The Waziri Admamwa stated that for the first time since the founding of PDP, details of the income and expenditure of a national convention was given to stakeholders for scrutiny and pledged that the party will continue to operate a transparent fiscal policy when it returns to power.
He said: Earlier this morning I was invited by the National Working Committee (NWC) and they gave me the detailed income and expenditure of all the money realised at the convention.
“I have never seen such fiscal responsibility by any political party.
I said to them, that this has posed a very big challenge and should we win, we have to enthrone the best fiscal responsibility this country has ever known or ever seen”.
He noted that PDP has learnt great lessons after losing the 2015 presidential election which made it a rebranded party that is ready to take the country back to the path of good governance.
“We have lost elections, we have learnt our lessons and because we have learnt our lessons, we began reforms. It is normal therefore that after we have reformed ourselves, we should return to power and be ready to offer better leadership than the first time we came into office”.
In his address, the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, said the PDP is ready than ever before to move the country forward and challenged members to be more united if they really intend to unseat an incumbent government.
According to him, “APC is not our opponent on the ballot paper; the security agencies are. In an election where few days to the election, you are looking for the leaders of the opposition parties to arrest, that cannot be called an election.
“If you talk to 10 Nigerians today they will tell you PDP is popular, but APC will rig the election. What does that mean? We must stand for free, fair and credible election. We must stand for an election where people have the right to vote.
“Election cannot be credible when you have a practice that two days before an election, you will start looking for all opposition leaders to arrest them. That cannot be credible election and that must stop”.
On his part, the chairman of PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Walid Jibrin, alleged that the Buhari government have continued to strangulate the economy and challenged PDP members to go to the grassroots and mobilize for the removal of the administration.
Also speaking on behalf of state governors, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, challenged the NEC members to go to the grassroots and work for the party, stressing that with them behind PDP, the election cannot be rigged.
Present at the meeting were the PDP vice presidential candidate, Peter Obi, Governors Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State, Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremmadu, former Senate President, David Mark, former Kogi State governor, Captain Idris Wada (rtd), former Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, and several chieftains of the party.