By Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja
Abuja (Precise Post) – The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the chairman of the Independent Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu to quit his job to save the nation’s electoral process from total collapse.
The party made the call in response to INEC’s public indictment of politicians for circumventing the use of smart card readers during elections.
Two INEC Commissioners, Festus Okoye and Mohammed Haruna, had at a public function in Abuja on Wednesday, blamed political parties and the judiciary for rendering the card readers ineffective during elections.
According to Okoye, the card reader have outlived their usefulness because politicians and the courts have refused to accord it recognition in election disputes.
But the PDP has rejected what it described as attempts by INEC to shift the blame for its failure on political parties and the courts.
In a statement Thursday by the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the main opposition party said it had consistently drawn the attention of the electoral body to electoral infractions created with the non-use of the card readers but that INEC had repeatedly ignored the party.
“The PDP totally rejects attempts by INEC to shift the blames for its failures to other political parties. It is on record that our party had consistently pointed to infractions created and allowed by INEC to facilitate rigging in elections.
“While calling on Nigerians to remain calm, the PDP charges Prof. Yakubu and the INEC leadership under him to do the needful by vacating offices to save our electoral system from complete collapse”
“It is instructive to note that the confession by INEC has not only vindicated our party, it has placed a huge burden on the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu”, the PDP said.
The party said it’s unfortunate that INEC could suddenly claim that it has just realised that the card readers have lost steam in the electoral process after they have been used to manipulate voting processes.
Blaming the leadership of the electoral body for the lapses in the electoral process, the PDP said, “Prof. Yakubu is now faced with the burden of how our electoral system has been corrupted by the manipulations in his INEC, all in the bid to serve group, rather than national interest.
“The INEC Chairman should accept his failures and vacate office without further delay. This is because there is no way Nigerians can continue to repose confidence in the commission under his watch.
“Of course, not under an electoral commission that condones the invasion of polling units, suppression of voters and stuffing of snatched ballot boxes; an INEC that cancels results in places where election held peacefully while announcing fabricated results allocated to its favoured political party as valid votes”.
The party further stated that INEC’s claims that the card readers were being circumvented confirmed its position that the recent Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections, as well as the Kogi West senatorial election, were all manipulated and therefore fraudulent.
It added that the outburst by the two INEC top officials did not come as a surprise, stressing that no matter how much falsehood appears to thrive, the truth will always catch up with it.
Continuing, the party said, “The confession by the commission vindicates the position of the PDP and majority of Nigerians that there were manipulations, alterations and circumventing of genuine data captured by the card readers and that actual results transmitted from polling units were tampered with.
“The admission also brings to light why INEC had no convincing defence at the tribunal in the face of overwhelming discrepancies in the figures it declared in the presidential poll”.