By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA—The leadership of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has threatened to pull out of the 2019 general elections if the electoral umpire and security agencies fail to demonstrate sufficient level of impartiality expected from them by Nigerians and the rest of the world.
This is even as a presidential aspirant on the platform of the party and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, said, yesterday, that the party would resist any attempt by anybody to rig the elections.
National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, stated this at the party’s national secretariat, yesterday, while playing host to a combined delegation of the International Republican Institute, IRI, and National Democratic Institute, NDI.
Secondus, who lamented what he called the manipulation of vote figures by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in the recently concluded Ekiti governorship election in favour of All Progressives Congress, APC, also accused the Police of chasing away PDP agents from various polling centres, particularly areas known to be its strongholds.
He said: “We are still contemplating on whether we will participate in the 2019 elections or not. We are yet to take a decision on this. We believe that if we are not sure that both INEC and security agencies will be transparent and that they will not take side, we will take a decision.
‘’We are consulting as to whether we shall participate or not; because you are participating against security agencies and INEC who have colluded to alter figures. So, we are in a dilemma. We are not sure that the security agencies and INEC would be impartial and transparent. In the Ekiti elections, there were instances where our party agents’ tags were removed and given to the APC agents.
“There were clear cases of manipulation, ballot snatching and harassment of our party agents.”
Leader of the delegation, Pauline Beckamp, said the institutes were at the party’s headquarters to ascertain the challenges it was facing ahead of the general elections, in order to engage the umpire, with a view to finding solutions.
We’ll resist attempt to rig 2019 general election —Atiku
Meanwhile, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has said PDP would resist any attempt by anybody to rig the elections.
Atiku stated this in Jalingo, Taraba State capital on Wednesday while he was in the state to solicit the support of PDP members.
He said Nigeria needed restructuring at almost all levels, stressing that it takes experience of Nigerians like him to take the country to the desired levels.
He said: “I have come to request for your support so that I will be able to emerge as the PDP presidential flag bearer for the 2019 general election. Taraba is home for me, I believe if I succeed, you will also succeed.”
Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State in his response, said Nigerians were desperately seeking the type of change that will stop daily killings of people and destruction of property across the nation.
Ishaku, who received the former vice president at Government House, Jalingo, said it had become necessary to look for a credible candidate in PDP who will defeat other presidential candidates in the 2019 general election and also deliver Nigeria from its current situation.
He said Nigerians had turned their attention to PDP as a solution to give them a credible candidate that will come with high profile ideas that would stop the ongoing daily killings and maintain the country’s unity.
“You can’t say your administration is fighting corruption while people are being killed on a daily basis. You can’t lock up people in prisons on the basis that they stole money while you keep mute to killings of human beings, that is also corruption.
“Your Excellency, the former vice president, we are very happy that you have come back to PDP, some of us kept wondering how can you build a beautiful house such as PDP and you abandoned to join a mud house that can fall at any time.
“If you check the records, you will discover that across the country, it’s only PDP governors that are working, PDP is the only nationalistic party in Nigeria.
“Just recently, they listed seven of us as governors that they must unseat, even if it com es to use of the power gun and rigging, but for me I told them they are not God. Honestly, we need a new turn around in Nigeria and PDP is the only political party with such composition.
“We will do our best to give you the necessary support to succeed because it’s our belief that if you are there, our needs will be granted,” the governor said.
Ishaku, while condemning the killings across Nigeria, stated that he had no powers on a single military troop as the chief security officer of the state.
He called on the former vice president to consider restructuring of the security apparatus of the country, if Nigerians gave him the mandate.