Poll Shift: APC and INEC can now put their houses in order – PDP

By Post Nigeria February 13, 2015 09:52

Poll Shift: APC and INEC can now put their houses in order – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, National Chairman, Adamu Muazu has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to put its house in order.

Speaking at a press conference at the party’s secretariat on Thursday, Mu’azu advised the commission to take advantage of the postponement of the general elections by six weeks.

INEC had earlier claimed that it shifted the polls following reports from the office of the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, that security agencies would be engaged in special operations in the North-East and would be unable to provide the required security for the elections at the initially announced dates.

Muazu had stated that PDP was equally affected by the poll shift and could not have had any part in the postponement.

He however disagreed with INECs claim that it was ready for the February 14 and 28 elections, stating that the statistics provided by the commission revealed that only 68 percent of the registered voters had collected their Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs.

“Although we tend to agree with INEC on the security reasons given for the postponement, we are nevertheless not unmindful of the fact that the commission on its own part was not fully prepared for the February 14 election date,” he said.

“Taking the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, on his own words, for the 68.8 million registered voters, the commission had only printed and delivered 66.3 million Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) with 1.3 million yet to be delivered and 1.1 million stolen cards yet to be replaced.”

Muazu recollected the INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega stating that 45.09 million voter cards were collected representing 65.8 percent of the registered voters and 23.71 million PVCs, representing 34.2 percent, were yet to be collected as at February 7, 2015 which was exactly a week to the earlier listed date.

He said, “Compare this anomaly with the 2011 elections where not a single eligible voter was disenfranchised,” Mr. Muazu said. “By this account, INEC could not sincerely claim to have been fully prepared for a desirable credible, free and fair election at the time when more than 23 million registered voters were going to be disenfranchised.”

“We therefore want to use this forum to urge INEC to use the period of the shift to ensure that it put its house in order and bequeath to Nigerians the desired free, fair and credible elections.”

In response to claims by the opposition party that the postponement of the elections was orchestrated by PDP, Muazu categorically stated that their (PDP) candidate was heading to victory.

“In the course of our campaign, we discovered that the popularity of our party is soaring, going by the rousing reception we received from Nigerians,” he said.

“While we were cruising in the euphoria of the success of our campaign that was leading us to victory, INEC on February 7, 2015, relying on section 26 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended) announced the postponement of the elections by six weeks, citing what it called security challenges.

“The truth is that the postponement has in no way whatsoever conferred any particular advantage to our party and our candidates. Instead, it came with an attendant loss of time and resources and delayed our celebrations of electoral victory, which with the support of Nigerians; we would have started savoring by Saturday.”

He however called on the APC to also take advantage of the shift to engage in “a neat and positive campaign devoid of lies, propaganda and incendiary statements”.

The PDP assured Nigerians that it would continue to patriotically engage in issue-based deliberations with Nigerians on its values, manifesto and roadmap for a more prosperous future ahead of the rescheduled dates.

“Our confidence for victory is derived from the fact that we have an array of very credible candidates, which Nigerians are eager to vote for. Also, our standard bearer, President Goodluck Jonathan, with his humility, performance and verifiable record of achievements has stood himself out as the leader best suited for our country at this point in our national life.

“For the opposition, we urge them to embrace positive politics by ensuring that its campaign and utterances are such that will help in deepening our democracy. This country belongs to all of us and its unity, stability and prosperity remain our paramount agenda,” he said.