The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to within 48 hours publish names of electoral officers that would conduct next week’s presidential election.
The party claimed that INEC had obtained names of the Electoral Officer and ad hoc staff from governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other bigwigs within the ruling party while allegedly taking directives from the presidency to manipulate the electoral process in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Addressing a press conference on Monday in Abuja, the Director of Media and Publicity of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Kola Ologbondiyan, said failure of INEC to publish the list would clearly show it had compromised.
He explained that publishing the list would help the opposition and other stakeholders to hold INEC and the ruling party accountable in the events leading to the elections.
The party also demanded that international authorities should place the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Commissioners and other key staff of the commission on watch list in order to avert what he termed avoidable crisis.
“The PDP vehemently rejects this wicked plot by the Buhari Presidency, which is tailored to ensure institutional manipulation of the electoral process, including accreditation, voting and collation of results at the polling units, which is the base of the elections.
“The PDP holds that by following the directive of the APC in such dubious rigging scheme, the INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, has violated section 29 (1) of the Electoral Act (as amended) and shows that he is in clear deficit of the required political will to conduct a credible, free and fair election.
“This is especially in the light of the boasting by agents of the Buhari Presidency and the APC to give the INEC Chairman what they describe as the ‘Onnoghen treatment’, and frame him, if he fails to comply with their rigging plans.
“In the light of the foregoing, the PDP demands that INEC, within the next 48 hours, publish the list of all officials and ad-hoc staff that will play any form of role in the election at all levels for verification by stakeholders.
“Furthermore, the PDP calls on the international community to place the INEC Chairman, Directors and Commissioners in INEC responsible for this election on their watch list and proceed to impose travel ban on them as well as hold them directly responsible should there be any form of rigging in the February 16, 2019 Presidential elections.
“Finally, the PDP directs all its members, teeming supporters and all well-meaning Nigerians across the nation to get ready to vote out President Buhari and protect their votes with all the energy available to them in the defence of our democracy and freedom as a people,” Ologbondiyan said.
• Daily Trust