- The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum has been cautioned over it's recent comments on the 2019 general elections
- The PDP governors had cast aspersions on the integrity of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
- The Yoruba Revolutionary Assembly warned the main opposition party from discrediting the commission
The PDP's Governors Forum has been urged to desist from actions and statements, that are aimed at unnecessarily dragging INEC into matters of its party politics and campaign of calumny.
The warning was contained in a statement issued in Lagos on Monday, September 10, and signed by the secretary general of the Yoruba Revolutionary Assembly, Prince Joseph Olarinde.
The group was reacting to the resolution of a meeting, by the PDP Governors Forum, led by Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti, which passed a vote of no confidence on the ability of INEC to conduct free, fair and credible elections in 2019.
“While we respect the freedom of the PDP governors to associate and raise issues on matters of state, including the activities of INEC, we consider the vote of no confidence on the INEC and its chairman, as uncharitable, biased and unpatriotic.
“There is no doubt, about the track records of Professor Mahmoud Yakubu and his pedigree, which has been attested to both locally and internationally, being enough assurance and guarantee to give every benefit of the doubt about his sincerity and competence, to lead INEC and give Nigerians, credible elections, come 2019," the group said.
The group further lamented what it described as unscrupulous, “the collective attitude of some politicians, particularly in the PDP, who have made it a regular routine, to blackmail and discredit the commission.”
The group said the PDP governors should be reminded, that INEC under Professor Yakubu, has maintained credible standards of transparency and electoral integrity, as could be seen in elections it has conducted in Anambra, Osun, Oyo and some other places.
It also said Nigerians are now more awakened and conscious of their electoral rights, and no umpire will be allowed to manipulate the wishes of the electorate, against whoever they give their mandates.
The group further warned politicians, against embarking on negative campaigns against the INEC and its leadership, in manners, which fall far outside the bounds of fair exchanges, adding that political stakeholders should show appropriate respect for the role of INEC, its independence, and the channels for appropriate discourse.
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"As a group, we believe that the persistence of campaign for the removal of Professor Yakubu, is dangerous to the polity and public confidence that the entire national leadership of INEC is free from threats from politicians,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, YIAGA Africa Watching The Vote has expressed concern over the delay in the signing of the electoral amendment bill into law.
The group made its stance known on the delay at a press conference on the status of the electoral amendment bill in Abuja on Monday, September 10.
They called on the executive and National Assembly to work together to conclude all the electoral amendments by the end of September 2018.
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