Zamfara: FG arm twisting INEC- PDP

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Secondus

Ahead of tomorrow’s presidential election , the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that over  1,050,051 dead persons have been listed as voters in the general elections.

The PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus , who stated this at press briefing in Abuja, yesterday,  alleged that there is a systemic manipulation of the voter register published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) .

Secondus noted  that the voter register has been deliberately corrupted to surpress voters in their strong hold with the aim of disenfranchising at least four voters in each polling unit.

The PDP chairman  said apart from allegedly registering aliens to participate in the polls, INEC has established so many polling units along the country’s border with Cameroon and Niger.

According to him ,” The strategy is to create artificial problems wherein at least four registered voters can be disfranchised in PDP strong hold areas. The target is to adequately limit the estimated members of PDP who would want to vote in their areas.

“The Voter’s register contains the data of dead voters. Permanent Voters Cards for dead voters were printed and distributed nationwide. Fellow Citizens, Government data shows that the gross death rate in Nigeria is 12.5 per 1000 lives.We have evidence that over 1,050,051 dead voters will vote in this election.

“The decision that dead voters will cast ballots has been taken by INEC and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

He further alleged  “to send faulty card reader machine to certain identified PDP strong holds and record a deliberate slow screening of voters to frustrate and discourage them.”

Secondus while urging   INEC to clean up the voters register , charged  the various security agencies to remain neutral in discharging their duties during the election.

Speaking on the directive by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami to the electoral body to postpone the elections in Zamfara State, so as to accommodate the APC , the PDP chairmann accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government of arm-twisting the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) to bend the rules in favour of the ruling party in Zamfara State.

He said  the AGF has no moral right to advice INEC on what to do regarding the conduct of the elections in Zamfara State. Therefore, the PDP chairman urged the electoral body to follow the law in all issues relating to the conduct of this general elections.

He said: “The AGF letter is part of APC’s design to arm-twist INEC and judiciary to take illegal action in their favor.. What the AGF is seeking is not backed by law.The AGF is an interested party on this matter and has no moral right to advice INEC.

The inability of the APC to field candidates due to self-inflicted crisis when other parties did within the stipulated period for the election is not covered by section 38 & 39 of the electoral Act 2010 which the AGF is relying on his dubious advice.”

However,  the leader said: “Our legal team is working on the line of action that can be taken. But of a truth, party chairman of APC cannot direct INEC to do the wrong thing.

“So, that’s why we have come to put the question direct that INEC must follow the law.

“You cannot because of one party, in their internal crisis, self-inflicted injuries, to now order over 80 political parties that have fielded their candidates…the time has passed.

“And looking at the judgment, one of the people in dispute, one of their members has even raised the issue that there was no clear declaration (by the court).

“So, our legal team is working on it. No clear declaration that INEC should accept their candidate.

“Whatever is the case, is working on it and Nigerians are also watching INEC. INEC should not also be turned to one of the subsidiaries of APC. “

Meanwhile, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has said that postponing the Zamfara elections is a right of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and not a favour.

Malami said this while responding to the reports on the letter he wrote to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the elections in Zamfara.

In a statement which Salihu Isah, his spokesman, issued on his behalf on Thursday, the attorney-general said he did not ask the commission to postpone the election in the state but only asked INEC to comply with the directive of the appeal court.

Malami said since the court of appeal confirmed that the APC in the state held primary elections, section 38 and 39 of the Electoral Act empowered the commission to postpone the election.

“The attention of the Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has been drawn to a recent publication by certain social media and conventional news outlets stating that this Office had purportedly requested the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the elections in Zamfara State,” the statement read.

In our letter dated February 13, 2019  and addressed to the INEC Chairman, the Attorney of the Federation in reacting to a petition from M.A Mahmud informing this Office of the subsisting Court of Appeal decision in CA/S/22/2019 which effectively upheld the APC primaries in Zamfara state, wrote to INEC informing them of this development and requested the Commission to comply by extending the time within which the political party  can field candidate in the gubernatorial elections.

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