CSOs, PDP, Dickson Raise Fears on Credible Elections

CSOs, PDP, Dickson Raise Fears on Credible Elections

 ….Say Bias Role of Security Agencies Disturbing, May Result in “Electoral Still Birth A coalition of civil society groups at the weekend staged a peaceful protest to the US Embassy in Abuja to appeal to the country’s leadership and other world leaders to pressure the Nigerian government to ensure free and credible elections in 2019.

 ….Say Bias Role of Security Agencies Disturbing, May Result in “Electoral Still Birth

A coalition of civil society groups at the weekend staged a peaceful protest to the US Embassy in Abuja to appeal to the country’s leadership and other world leaders to pressure the Nigerian government to ensure free and credible elections in 2019.

Chanting various solidarity songs around the diplomatic areas, the protesters expressed concern over the behaviour of the security agencies in the recent bye elections in Kwara, Kogi, Bauchi and Katsina states.

The coalition included Concerned Nigerians (CN), Our Mumu Don Do Movement, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy (CDND), Leadership and Accountability Initiative (LAI), and Campaign for Democracy (CD).

Speaking on behalf of the coalition, Mr Adeyanju Deji of CN, said the partisanship of the security agencies during those elections and the recent governorship elections in Osun and Ekiti states were worrying particularly as the 2019 elections draw near.

“From what we have seen in the recent times, we are very worried that the forthcoming elections in 2019 may not be an election between two or more political parties, but an ignominious battle between security agencies,” he said.

Deji also called the attention of the United States and other allies of Nigeria to what he described as the inhumane and undemocratic scheme of vote buying across the country.

Expressing similar fears, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, on Friday alleged that the Presidency and the All Progressives Congress, APC, were plotting to “militarize and scuttle the conduct of the 2019 general elections, particularly, the presidential poll.”

National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus stated this when he led members of the National Working Committee of the party to receive the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Mr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, in his office in Abuja and was contained in a statement issued by the opposition party’s spokesperson, Kola Ologbodiyan

In the  statement, the PDP chairman alerted the UN Security Council that Buhari was already “compromising the military and other security forces as tools to muscle the electoral process.”

The statement quoted Secondus as saying there was alleged, “heightened tension across the country over the manipulations by the Buhari Presidency,” adding that “if the UN and the international community fail to intervene and support a credible, free and fair election, our nation may witness an electoral stillbirth, capable of triggering violence and humanitarian crisis in Nigeria and the entire sub-Sahara region.”

According to Secondus, “President Buhari is not preparing for elections. He is not prepared for the rigours of any electoral exercise. Every well-intentioned politician goes out to the street to engage and persuade the people with his or her manifesto and policies, but President Buhari is not ready to engage anybody in contest of ideas; that is why he is desperate to compromise our military as a measure of limitless powers to rig.”

“The world saw how our Service Chiefs participated in President Buhari’s campaign rally. There is no way these Service Chiefs will not be pushed to resort to self-help on behalf of President Buhari and his APC in the election. The UN Security Council should note this and intervene to save our democratic process.”

“President Buhari has militarized our electoral process. In the July and September governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states respectively, in addition to various bye-elections, military equipment were rolled out to prevent the opposition from voting. Citizens were freely manhandled, arrested and subjugated by security agents, who openly worked for the APC. Today, in Nigeria, the PDP is contesting with security forces and not with the APC.”

“Also, President Buhari has compromised our Police. As we speak, the Inspector-General of Police has sealed the Akwa-Ibom state House of Assembly and seized an arm of government, just like they did in Benue state in July. Our country has been turned into a police state and there is fear everywhere.”

“Similarly, our Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been annexed by the Buhari Presidency. This is the reason it has not been able to conduct any credible election in the last three and half years. Nigerians have lost confidence that INEC as presently constituted can guarantee credible polls in 2019. We, therefore, demand for the resignation of the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and Mrs. Amina Zakari, who is a niece of Mr. President.”

“Our international partners must, therefore, insist and encourage a free, fair and credible electoral process. They must also caution against manipulation and other abuses that are capable of truncating our democracy and endangering the lives of Nigerians as a result of a failed electoral process.”

Also, the Bayelsa State Governor, Mr Henry Seriake Dickson, and the Ijaw National Leader, Chief Edwin Clark, have raised the alarm over the increasing abuse of security agencies by the ruling political party, the All Progressives Congress, and the Federal Government.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, quoted Governor Dickson and the Elder Statesman as raising the concern when Pa Clark paid him a condolence visit on the death of his mother, Ma Goldcoast Dickson, in Abuja, on Friday.

The governor said Nigerians were deeply worried about the conduct of the security agencies across in the country. According to him, the security agencies were disturbingly metamorphosing into an extension of the ruling party, the APC, ahead of the 2019 general election.

Governor Dickson condemned the recent assassination attempt on the Deputy Senate President, Prof. Ike Ekweremadu, and the police invasion of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

He described the action of the police authorities, who sealed off the House òf Assembly, as an assault on the democratic order, which he said should not be encouraged.

Dickson stated further that the recent posting of eight police commissioners to Bayelsa State within a shockingly short period of three months only showed a sinister plot to destabilize the peace, security and stability of the state ahead of the 2019 general elections.

He called on the relevant authorities and the security agencies to conduct themselves in a way that would promote the nation’s democracy rather than putting it in jeopardy.

“We are all concerned about the conduct of security agencies ahead of the 2019 general elections. In fact, all lovers of Nigeria and democracy are concerned about the conduct of the security agencies.

“The agencies have become an extension of the ruling party, which should not be. The abuse of the security forces constitutes a threat to the security, democracy and stability of the country.

“I condemn the recent assassination attempt on the life of the Deputy Senate President, Prof. Ike Ekweremadu. It is totally reprehensible. I also condemn the invasion of the Akwa Ibom State House òf Assembly. It was a desecration of the democratic order.”

“In Bayelsa, we have had no fewer than eight police commissioners in the last three months. It won’t take you long to know that there is a sinister game going on to destabilize and create instability in the state that we have worked so hard to stabilize. We urge the security agencies to conduct themselves in a way that would stabilize democracy.”

“The greatest challenge we have ahead of the 2019 election is the conduct of the security agencies. That is the concern of all well-meaning Nigerians.

Politicians and people in government need to know that there is a country to govern after elections.”

“Let us not in the quest for election, destroy these critical agencies of state and the career and reputation of these officials. When you politicize these agencies, you threaten the careers of these people who are professionals in their own right,” Dickson said.

The governor also warned against subjecting control of security agencies to non-state actors in the country.

Also speaking, Elderstatman, Chief Edwin.Clark condemned the erratic transfer of eight police commissioners to Bayelsa State in three months.

He said that he was not surprised at the conduct of the police as they recently invaded his house in Abuja even at his age of 91 in a purported search for arms.

He cautioned a former governor of Bayelsa, who is a chieftain òf the APC, who he accused of being behind the instigation of the politics in police postings to the state, to stop making himself a laughing stock.

Posts Carousel

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Latest Posts

Top Authors

Most Commented

Featured Videos