Barely eight months to the 2019 general election, the National Chairman of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, said that the party may boycott the election following the alleged partisanship of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies.
Secondus, who declared that there may be no need for PDP to participate in the 2019 general election, added that the outcome of the Ekiti State governorship election has eroded their confidence in the electoral system.
The PDP national chairman said this while briefing a combined delegation of International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI) at the PDP national secretariat, who were on a visit to political parties as part of their assessment tour ahead of the 2019 poll.
Secondus told the visitors that PDP voted against security agencies and INEC at the Ekiti governorship election, adding that the duo allegedly colluded to alter the election figures in favour of the APC.
The PDP chairman alleged that their agents were beaten up and sent away from the polling units by security operatives while APC agents were allowed to operate as they wished.
Secondus said, “Our opinion is that INEC and security agents are directly involved in this manipulation. As a matter of fact, we did not contest against the APC, we contested against the security agencies and INEC.
“Moving forward, if nothing is done to stamp out and restore the confidence of ordinary Nigerians and other political parties, then it may be difficult to accept the result of 2019 general election, no matter what the outcome may be unless it is transparent, free and fair and it is a recipe for crisis.
“We believe that if we are not sure that both INEC and security agencies will be transparent and that they will not take sides, we are consulting as to whether we shall participate or not. Because you are participating against security agencies and INEC who have colluded to alter the figures even after you have voted, so we are in dilemma.”
The PDP national chairman, who said that Ekiti election was over militarised, explained to the visitors that they had protested at the National Assembly and INEC upon their discovery that electoral officials and security agents posted to Ekiti State for the poll had been compromised.
Also speaking on the side of the party during the visit, the National Organising Secretary of PDP, Col. Austin Akobundu, alleged massive intimidation of their members during the Ekiti election, adding that in the hinterlands were observers couldn’t get to, security operatives brazenly chased away PDP agents.
This development, he said, created an avenue for illegal frontloading of card reader result which were sent to data base.
He said, “This is just a brief incident that took place but we are still studying all that happened there and we will come up with an accurate account based on the testimony of our agents who were in the field.”
Speaking earlier, the leader of the NDI/IRI delegation, Dr. Pauline Beckamp, said, “We are very pleased to have been able to meet with you. We are here to hear from you the challenges and opportunities on the upcoming election and most importantly what challenges you encountered so that we can discuss with INEC.”