Nigeria’s Main Opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party has come down hard on the nation’s electoral body, independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) accusing the organisation of plotting secretly to create additional 30,000 polling units in locations favorable to All Progressive Congress (APC) and President Mohammadu Buhari Saying action capable of killing the entire electoral process and silencing the popular choice of the electorates, coming as a desire of Nigerian people.
In a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday, the party said its investigation showed that “this is part of the grand design by the commission under Prof Mahmood Yakubu to rig the 2019 general elections in favour of Buhari and his APC.”
In a related development, the party has resolved to constitute a shadow cabinet to redirect the county’s economic recovery policy and good governance.
According to Ologbondiyan, the decision was the major resolution of the meeting of the Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) held on Thursday evening in Abuja.
The statement read: “We are aware of series of clandestine meetings between compromised officials of the commission and certain agents of the Presidency and APC, where the plot to sneak in the 30, 000 illegal polling units in some remote areas and through which they plan to allocate votes to Buhari and the APC were perfected.
“Having realised that Nigerians have completely rejected them because of their failures in governance, the Presidency and the APC are now employing all manners of antics to create ways to rig the polls and foist Buhari back on Nigerians.”
The PDP cautioned INEC not to set the nation on fire by the action, urging Yakubu to heed wise counsel and immediately discard the thoughts of using such polling units or dividing the nation along ethnic lines in next year’s general elections, as such would be stiffly resisted.
It added: “Having completely lost confidence in the integrity of INEC under Yakubu, we unequivocally demand that all processes leading to 2019 must be subjected to open review of political parties and stakeholders at all levels.
“In this regard, we demand that INEC makes public the location and status of all polling units, as well as the report of its investigation of under-age voters in various parts of the country, particularly Kano and Katsina states.
“ We urge Nigerians to remain vigilant and monitor all processes to ensure that INEC and the APC do not, at any point in the process, manipulate the elections and subvert the will of the people.”
On the formation of a shadow cabinet, the statement noted that in advanced democracies, a shadow cabinet is a group of politicians who hold political post in their party, but whose party is not in government, and a member of the shadow cabinet is a shadow minister and the leader of a shadow cabinet is called the leader of opposition.
It said the PDP meeting also resolved that the party’s doors remained open to all Nigerians, groups and like-minded political parties to foster a strong rallying point in the quest to rescue the nation from the APC and enthrone good governance in our country.
The meeting adopted suggestions “that PDP leads a strong conversation and discussion towards a formal coalition of democratic forces to guarantee Nigerians the much-desired all-inclusive platform ahead of 2019 general elections.”
According to the statement, the PDP NEC urged all Nigerians to, in unison, condemn the assault on the National Assembly, particularly the Senate, leading to the seizure of the mace and disruption of proceedings in the chamber, describing the invasion as a direct attack on the sovereignty of Nigeria and its integrity as a democratic nation.
It called for the prosecution of all those involved in the act and demanded a system-wide inquest, particularly on the compromised security at the National Assembly and that the matter be expeditiously dealt with.