By Dirisu Yakubu
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said it is a sad commentary for President Muhammadu Buhari, who won the election on a free ballot in 2015 to contemplate or bemoan “how he could have used security agencies to undermine the integrity of the electoral process in our country.”
The party in a statement on Monday by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan said: “Nigerians are aware that in the 2019 presidential election, such despotic and oppressive tactics were deployed to circumvent the electoral process and the wishes of Nigerians.”
President Buhari was quoted as saying in a meeting with governors of the North-East at the Aso Rock Villa on Monday that “Some of those that defeated us are sitting here. We know we are a developing country but we respect our country, otherwise, with the use of Army, the police and the rest of them, we could have overrun you. We just wanted to show that we are humane and we are Nigerians. We will continue to do our best.”
The statement read in part, “As a party, the PDP hopes this is not foreplay of what the All Progressives Congress, APC and Buhari Presidency is planning to exert in the Edo and Ondo governorship elections scheduled for September and October 2020 respectively.
“Nigerians witnessed the overrunning of Ekiti, Osun, Kogi, Bayelsa and Kano states by the APC using compromised security officials and thugs. In Kogi State, a police helicopter was used to disperse the electorate, who were on the queue to perform their civic duties on Election Day. Mrs Salome Abuh, a frontline woman leader of the PDP, was burnt to death.
“Contrary to Mr President’s expressed concerns, Nigerians have never witnessed the level of electoral impunity seen under his administration.
“Nigeria is standing before the global community on Edo and Ondo governorship elections and the President must advise his party to allow INEC to carry out its responsibilities without interferences.”