PDP, APC squabble over polls’ credibility

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National Commissioner in charge of Kogi, Kwara and Nassarawa, Muhammed Kudu Haruna (left); Resident Electoral Commissioner, INEC, Kogi State, Prof. James Apam and Administrative Secretary, INEC, Kogi State, Muhammed Abubakar Sadiq during the collation of votes in Lokoja, Kogi State.
National Commissioner in charge of Kogi, Kwara and Nassarawa, Muhammed Kudu Haruna (left); Resident Electoral Commissioner, INEC, Kogi State, Prof. James Apam and Administrative Secretary, INEC, Kogi State, Muhammed Abubakar Sadiq during the collation of votes in Lokoja, Kogi State.

THE People’s Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday described the Kogi and Bayelsa States governorship elections as shameful, saying the polls have damaged Nigerians’ faith in democracy.

In a statement, the opposition party said: “The shameful elections conducted in Kogi and Bayelsa states have damaged the faith of Nigerians in a democratic order. Nevertheless, the PDP remains strong and united in the face of all odds. Nigeria is our nation and no individual or group can appropriate our collective sovereignty as a people at all times.

“Nigerians and the entire world watched in horror as the APC-led government trampled our democracy under foot with an utmost impunity that can only be obtainable in Hitler’s Germany and Samuel Doe’s Liberia, where the lives and rights of citizens meant nothing to suppressive power-mongers.

“Citizens agonized as APC-controlled security forces aided armed hoodlums to invade polling centres, shoot and kill innocent citizens, cart away ballot boxes, stuffed them with already thumb-printed ballot papers in favour of APC, after which results are allocated and handed over to a compromised
INEC to announce against the will of the people.

“It is distressing that under the President Buhari-led APC administration, votes no longer count; power and governance no longer derive from the people but from violence, manipulations and the barrel of the gun. Nigerians now ask; are we still in a democracy?

“With the outcome of the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections, Nigerians and the world have lost hope in our institutions of democracy and security system as presently constituted. They have completely lost hope in INEC under Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, which has shown itself to be a repressive tool in the hands of dictatorial forces.

“As a party, we condole with the families of our compatriots that were killed in Kogi and Bayelsa states and prayed that God grant their souls eternal rest.“The shameful elections conducted in Kogi and Bayelsa states have damaged the faith of Nigerians in a democratic order. Nevertheless, the PDP remains strong and united in the face of all odds. Nigeria is our nation and no individual or group can appropriate our collective sovereignty as a people at all times.

“Our party will therefore continue to fully exert itself in upholding the wishes and aspirations of Nigerians despite the manipulations of the APC.“The PDP urges Nigerians to remain resilient and focused. Our party will, in due course, address Nigerians on the way forward in the overall quest to retrieve stolen mandates, rescue our nation from dictatorial forces and reinforce democratic practice in our country.”

But in a statement yesterday, the APC applauded the elections, saying; “In Kogi and Bayelsa States, we were certain of securing the majority votes for the two governorship seats and the Kogi West senatorial seat. “As expected, not being in the tradition of PDP to thrive under orderly and credible electoral process, they did their best to discredit the process. We are glad that the voting processes came to a successful end in Kogi and Bayelsa States.

“The party thanks security agencies and other officials who did their best to minimise the impact of the PDP thugs whose sole agenda was to create chaos and scare voters from coming out to vote. Of course, the PDP did not achieve their objective of winning through violence.”

Meanwhile, the elections have continued to draw criticisms over violence and intimidation by security operatives.The police confirmed three persons dead during the election in Kogi. Commissioner of Police, Akeem Busari, who made the disclosure to newsmen, said the command was still compiling its report on the poll, to ascertain the actual number of casualties. Busari also said 10 persons were arrested during the election.He said the three died in Lokoja when armed thugs invaded St. Luke Primary School, Adanakolo. He described the situation in the state as calm.

Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room said the Kogi State governorship and senatorial election was a major dent to Nigeria’s democratic process and called for its cancellation.It also called on INEC “to fully interrogate the election in Bayelsa State with view to identifying the high incidences of malpractice that took place and reflect the genuine vote of the people.”

– Nov. 18, 2019 @ 08:35 GMT |

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