The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday asked the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, to resign immediately.
The party said it no longer has confidence in Yakubu’s leadership of the commission for what it called gross disregard of the constitution and the law by allowing under aged persons to be accommodated in the voters’ register.
It said: “Nigerians have completely lost confidence in INEC under Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and we urge him to take the path of honour and do the needful by vacating his office before it becomes too late.”
The party also called for immediate review of the register to remove the names of all under-aged persons before the 2019 elections.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, noted that although the Prof. Yakubu-led commission reluctantly accepted responsibility for the illegality of registering and issuing Permanent Voters’ Card to the under-aged, it has refused to take decisive steps to restore the sanctity of its register, particularly in Kano and Katsina states, but has rather made a puerile explanation of plans to investigate the allegation.
According to the PDP: “The credibility of our electoral process under the current INEC is hugely in doubt. The nation was last Wednesday terrified by the commission’s Director of Publicity and Voter Education, Mr. Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, who announced that INEC registered minors because its agents were threatened by members of the communities in those states.’’
“By this alarming and unpatriotic statement, INEC has completely discredited and disqualified itself and cannot be trusted to conduct a credible, free and fair general elections in 2019.”
The opposition party further said that in order to achieve voter register revalidation, it should be carried out under the supervision of all political parties, credible associations, reputable NGOs as well as the international community.
The opposition party also condemned the plan by INEC to ask EFCC to help in monitoring campaign funds pointing out that it “is clearly an illegal and Machiavellian way of suppressing opposition’s financial contribution and spending.
“It is a plot to detain, defame, intimidate and illegally block bank accounts of opposition members under the pretext that they have been mandated by INEC to monitor campaign funds.’’
The party also accused the Federal Government of plan to manipulate economic indices to create the impression that the economy is doing well.
The PDP also said that it was privy to “clandestine meetings and the engagement of certain unscrupulous Nigerians and foreign profiling firms, who have been heavily paid to fabricate, dish out and saturate our polity with fake performance indices and contrived polls in favour of the failed and incompetent Buhari-led Federal Government.”