…Tasks security agencies on political neutrality
By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA- Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Monday passed a vote of no confidence on the ability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free, fair and credible elections in 2019.
The governors also accused security agencies of working in sync with the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the interest of opposition political parties.
At an emergency meeting of the PDP Governors’ Forum which began on Sunday at the Ekiti state Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja and ended at noon yesterday, the governors also condemned last week’s invasion of the residence of elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark by men of the Nigerian Police Force.
In a communique signed by the forum’s chairman and Ekiti state governor, Ayodele Fayose, the governors expressed worry over the payment of N16 billion to Osun state government from the Paris Club Refund, saying the move is aimed at inducing voters to look in the direction of the APC in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
The communique read, “The Forum noted that INEC needs to reinvent itself as a truly independent umpire of the electoral process in the country. For now, we have no confidence in INEC. The commission has conducted itself as a tool of the APC-led federal government, especially with the roles of the Chairman, Professor Mahmud Yakubu, and a National Commissioner, Mrs. Amina Zakari.
“The PDP Governors Forum condemn in strong terms, the politicization of security agencies in the country by the federal government. We observe that security agencies have become organs and tools of the APC-led federal government to harass and intimidate the opposition and dissenting voices.
“The Forum decries the use of security agencies to perpetrate electoral fraud as it happened in Ekiti, Osun and Rivers States and urged them to be non-partisan in the performance of their duties in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.
“The Forum further condemn the flagrant violation of democratic ethos by operatives of this government as shown recently in the infamous act by the police at the residence of elder statesman, Pa Edwin Clark, and the harassment on innocent Nigerians across the country on frivolous claims.
“The Forum condemned the surreptitious, selective and suspicious payment of N16 billion purportedly from the Paris Club Refund. We are of the view that the money is to fund corrupt inducement of voters in the forthcoming Governorship election in Osun State on September 22, 2018.
“The Forum resolved to have an all-inclusive meeting with all the Presidential aspirants, with the National Chairman, two national officers of the party, and the leaders of the party in both chambers of the National Assembly in attendance.
“The meeting condemned unequivocally, the refusal or failure of the President to sign into law the amended electoral act thereby indicating that the President and his party are afraid of electronic voting or the introduction of technology into the electoral system.”