September 15, 2020

PDP hails fresh US visa ban on election riggers

DEVELOPING: PDP BoT in meeting over party crisis

Wants same treatment of family members of riggers

By Dirisu Yakubu – Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Tuesday commended the United States over its fresh imposition of visa ban on election riggers in the country.

This is as the party urged the United States Department of State to include family members and assets of “such anti-democratic agents who have destroyed the credibility of our electoral system.”

In a statement issued by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondoyan, the PDP tasked the United States to also invite the European Union as well as other nations, particularly the United Arab Emirates, UAE, and Saudi Arabia, to “impose similar sanctions on electoral violators, who are bent on destroying our democracy.”

The statement read in part: “PDP demands an extension of the ban to the families as well as confiscation of assets of such individuals to serve as stronger deterrent to protect innocent Nigerians who are left to bear the brunt of the misdeed of such unpatriotic persons.

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“This Visa ban, if taken across the globe,  would be a final warning to the leaders of All Progressives Congress, APC, as well as compromised security and Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC officials, being used by the APC to perpetrate electoral violence and manipulations.

“Our party asserts that the position of the US Department of State is a confirmation that 2019 general elections, the November 2019 Kogi governorship election, as well as other elections under the Buhari regime were massively rigged with unrestrained violence against the people and rampant manipulations by the APC and their compromised security agents.

“The world is aware of how our compatriots were killed and maimed in Kano and various parts of our nation in the 2019 elections; how collation of results was compromised by relations of APC candidates and how compromised security operatives were used to frustrate the will of the people.

“Without saying, Nigerians know the individuals who unleashed violence to rig the November 2019 Kogi state governorship election; who deployed thugs and security agents to shoot and kill voters, cart away ballot boxes, used police helicopter to fire tear gas on Nigerians, burnt an innocent woman, Mrs Salome Abuh, alive, altered election result figures to make themselves winners.

“The US ban is therefore firm support to our stiff resistance to plots by Oshiomhole and Ize-Iyamu, who have been overheating the polity in Edo state with serial attacks on other political parties while assembling thugs, cultists, fake policemen as well as their ‘tigers and lions” who they publicly instructed to invade polling centers to unleash violence and undermine the electoral process.

“In Ondo, Nigerians are already aware of how the self-confessed APC militant and former APC chairman in the state, Isaac Kekemeke, boasted that the APC will use violence to rig the October 10 election and that Governor Akeredolu was behind the violent political attacks rocking the state.

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“It is instructive to note that after Kekemeke’s boast, INEC facility in Akure, Ondo state capital was set ablaze, leading to the destruction of not less than 5141 card readers meant for the election were destroyed.

“Furthermore, Nigerians know the faces of INEC and security officials used as political mercenaries to manipulate elections in Kogi, Ekiti, Osun, and other states. Our party vehemently rejects the deployment of the same individuals to Edo and Ondo.

“The presence of such persons is an invitation to the crisis as the people of Edo and Ondo will use every means available and allowed in a democracy to resist them.

“Our party charges INEC and all security agencies to note that the world is watching and as such strive to act by the rules, knowing that a shameful end awaits those who undermine the will of the people.

“The PDP, in commending the United States, urges Nigerians, particularly in Edo and Ondo state to remain at alert and strengthen their resolve by voting and firmly defending their votes from the polling and collation centers to the final declaration of results, with the determination to unbridle the instrument of resistance to anybody, anybody at all, who attempts to undermine their will at any level of the process.”