The Peoples Democratic Party has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure that Saturday supplementary elections scheduled to hold in five states are concluded in a transparent manner.
PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, made the call at the party’s 85th Emergency National Executive Committee meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.
Secondus said that the conduct of free, fair, and credible elections in the states would enable INEC to regain its credibility.
He said that the attention of the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, was needed at the moment as the entire country and the international community were watching and “people are also taking record for history”.
He said: “For our security agencies we also call on them to keep to the rules of engagement.
“We want to appeal to the Nigerian Army that this is one institution that is respected by all, irrespective of our political lineage.
“They should respect that integrity, not to be called out again and be made to be involved in a purely civilian matter.”
Secondus also called on INEC to conclude elections in Bauchi and Rivers states and allow aggrieved parties to seek redress in court.
He said: “Same thing for Rivers. We call on Yakubu to conclude elections in the state.
“You can give room for manipulation or for people to go to court or for security agencies to manipulate the process.
“We have just been told that in the case of Rivers, the Electoral Officers in local governments and returning officers that are in possession of election results that were submitted to INEC and the panel constituted by the commission that came to investigate have been invited by the Nigerian police.”
The PDP national chairman called on the acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to stop the Commissioners of Police in the states where supplementary election would hold from distracting the electoral and returning officers during the elections.
Secondus said that the purpose of the meeting was to deliberate on Saturday’s supplementary elections and to assure the party members in areas where the elections would hold that PDP was with them.
He expressed confidence that the party would sustain the clear margin that PDP already had in the five states of Kano, Bauchi, Sokoto, Rivers, and Adamawa where governorship elections were outstanding.
He advised the party members in the affected states to be resolute and to come out en masse and vote for PDP in Saturday’s supplementary elections.
He said that the party would convene a meeting to do a post mortem of the general elections immediately after the supplementary polls.
Responding to former Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu’s observation that PDP governors were not in the meeting, Secondus said that most of them still had one or two elections to contend with in their states.
The party Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who blamed INEC and security agencies for their actions during the general elections, said that the leadership of the electoral body should be held response.
Abubakar, who was represented by his running mate, Mr Peter Obi, said that the process through which a government came into office, was far more fundamental than what it would do thereafter.
He commended the party for choosing the path of honour to seek redress and encouraged members to come out on Saturday and vote for PDP.
The Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, commended the members for the momentum the party had gained even after the presidential election, saying it testified to the strength of character of the members of the party.
Saraki expressed optimism that the victory of the APC would be short-lived.
“We have a great future ahead and I believe we will start that on Saturday to make sure that we defend those five states that are declared inconclusive
He said: “If anybody believes that it is a loss to PDP, it is a loss to the country that history will not forgive.”
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, advised those engaged in evil deeds in politics to be mindful that they would never escape the punishment either by law or nature.
Dogara said: “Also for those who believe in power for the sake of power, not because they want to empower people, not because they want to better the lives of our people, there are lessons they can learn from history.
“History is now a replete with examples of all those who pursued power for the sake of power.
“Let us stand strong; let us face the rerun or supplementary elections as they call them.
“I sincerely believe that by the grace of God victory is ours and we will overcome.”
The Chairman, PDP Board of Trustees, Senator Walid Jubrin, assured the party faithful that the entire members of the BoT were in support of the party’s decision at the time of struggle.
Jubrin, who was represented at the meeting by the Secretary of the board, Adolphus Wabara, advised party members to be steadfast, saying: “this is not the time for people to start moving from one party to the other”.