By Kalada Jumbo
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has in total and vehement terms, rejected the contemplation by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to accommodate the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the general elections in Rivers State.
PDP’s position which was communicated via a statement signed by Kola Ologbondiyan, Director, Media & Publicity, PDP Presidential Campaign Organization, is predicated on what it described as the ‘unacceptable and compromising’ suggestion by INEC, through its National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, that certain circumstances could lead to the postponement of election, in Rivers State, to accommodate the APC, which currently do not have candidates in the elections, following the quashing of its congresses in the state by the Court.
According to PDP, “such a suggestion by INEC is distasteful and only points to a collusion with the APC in its plot to stalemate electoral processes in some strategic states to pave the way to postpone elections in such states and use compromised security forces to effect massive rigging, as was the case in the 2018 Ekiti and Osun states governorship elections, a scheme, which will be firmly resisted by Nigerians in the 2019 general elections.
“Currently, the APC is not on the ballot and has no candidates for the governorship, Senatorial, House of Representatives and State Assembly elections in Rivers and Zamfara states following the voiding of the APC congresses in these states by the court.
“In line with this reality, the ballot paper in all elections in Rivers and Zamfara states must, under no circumstance, bear the logo of the APC.
“The PDP insists that INEC must base all its actions and contemplation for the elections on this reality and should under no circumstance predicate any action on a hypothetical condition.
“It is also important for INEC to know that Okoye’s advocacy for the APC detracts from the commission’s neutrality and exposes it as a compromised umpire.
“The PDP therefore charges the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to be appropriately guided in the conduct of the general elections.
“Unlike the APC, our party is fully prepared for the elections and will never allow the APC and some compromised INEC officials to manipulate the elections, just because the APC has seen that it has no chance of winning.
“The PDP therefore calls on all Nigerians to unite in condemnation of this cowardly scheme by the APC in its bid to foist itself back to power against their collective will as a people.”