2019: PDP advises FG on credible elections

The United Nation (UN), Election Monitoring Team, led by Mr. Serge G. Kubwimana at the National Secretariat of PDP National Working Committee (NWC). Photo: Twitter/OfficialPDPNig

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has advised the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government to ensure that the 2019 general elections are free and fair.

National Chairman of PDP, Mr Uche Secondus, gave the advice when he received the United Nation’s Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) delegation at the party’s National Secretariat, Abuja, on Monday.

Secondus said that free, fair, credible and transparent elections were guarantee for national unity and peace.

He said that while PDP was in power for 16 years, it fostered and deepened the country’s democracy.

Secondus added that in the 2015 general elections, PDP lost election and its presidential candidate, who was the incumbent, conceded defeat without attempting to go to court.

He said that the party realised that it was democracy and the will of the people.

The chairman, however, stated that PDP was worried if the ruling party was ready to conduct credible elections in 2019.

“Nigeria is the largest black nation in the world and we are saying that there is a great fear on whether Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will really conduct free and fair elections.

“Free and fair elections are the only guarantee for national unity; it is the only guarantee for peace, and the government of the day must take it serious.

“We conducted free and fair elections in 2015 and we lost. We handed over and conceded defeat but what we are seeing so far has not given us the confidence at all that they can conduct free and fair elections.

“The entire country is worried, not only PDP. It is across the board; all the other political parties are very worried because of what is happening today in the country,” he said.

Secondus described the UN delegation’s visit to Nigeria as “timely, based on unfolding events and political situation in the country’’.

He advised the delegation to ensure that the elections were free and credible, saying that PDP would assist them with necessary statistics and support needed for their mission.

The chairman pledged that PDP would abide by its Constitution and that of the country as it prepared for elections.

“As a party, we are here to play by the rules, by our constitution and the constitution of our country.

“We are witnesses to the past where disobedience to the Constitution of our country bred crisis.”

On his part, leader of the UN delegation, Mr Serge Kubwimana, said that they were at PDP Secretariat to interact with the leadership of the party as part of the delegation’s mission towards 2019 general elections.

Kubwimana said that the mission was to determine the areas of support, which the UN would give towards the elections.

He said that the findings would include the political parties, electoral violence, security, the legal framework, the capacity and needs of the electoral body.

“This is really what this mission is here for and our assessment cannot be done without interacting with the main stakeholders, obviously INEC, Civil Society Organisations and political parties.

“These also include some of the key institutions – the judiciary, the National Assembly – so, this is why we think it is important to meet with you.

“We will be doing this with other political parties in the course of the week.”

He added that the interactions would inform the kind of technical support the UN would give towards the elections.

“We cannot do this without interacting with the head of the various stakeholders.”

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