The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has declared that President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent comments on the country’s electoral process under the current Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) questions the credibility of the February 2019 presidential election.
The party noted yesterday that in demanding that INEC and the police should ensure that the will of the people prevailed in credible elections, going forward, the president admitted that elections under the current dispensation had been anything but credible.
In a statement by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP noted that in a meeting with the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, and the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, at the Presidential Villa, Buhari said, “Our elections must be done in violence-free atmosphere. The process must be free, fair, decent and devoid of intimidations and malpractices. It is the duty of the police to accomplish that and this is what I expect in the elections immediately, ahead and going forward.
Those that you declare as winners must be candidates that the people have chosen. Democracy is about free will, and the will of the people must be allowed to prevail.”
This, according to the PDP, is “a weighty verdict by the president on the huge electoral fraud perpetrated in the 2019 elections by his party, APC.”
It added, “Though the verdict of the Supreme Court on the presidential election stands, in total obedience to our laws, the fact remains that the violent manipulations of the 2019 elections in favour of the APC and its candidates will continue to stare our nation in the face.”
The major opposition party further stated that Buhari’s remark showed that beneficiaries of manipulated polls are always confronted with the truth, in their conscience.
PDP tasked INEC and the police to come clean of the details of their recent meeting with Buhari, which was coming ahead of about 28 impending run-offs and by-elections scheduled for this month.
“Our party holds that INEC is an independent electoral commission whose activities and processes are clearly governed by the law and extant rules and not by the dictates or prescriptions of the president,” the statement added.
It urged the president to steer clear of INEC, adding that the commission must assert its independence and “desist from going to the Presidential Villa for instructions on elections.”