Thursday, March 31, 2016

INEC now under APC control, PDP alleges

Uche-SecondusThe national leadership of the Peoples Democratic
Party has alleged that the Independent National
Electoral Commission is now under the firm control
of the All Progressives Congress.
It cited the piecemeal release of results of the March
19 rerun election in Rivers State by the commission,
which it alleged was done to satisfy the ruling party,
as an example.
The Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Uche
Secondus, made this allegation in an interview with
reporters in Abuja on Wednesday.
He alleged that the electoral body was taking
instructions from the ruling party on what to do with
the outcome of the Rivers rerun which he claimed
his party won convincingly.
Before the suspension of announcement of the
results, the commission had released the results in
nine state constituencies and one federal
But in the results made available on Tuesday in Port
Harcourt and signed by the State Resident Electoral
Commissioner, Mr. Aniedi Ikoiwak, the PDP
maintained its lead by winning three federal
constituencies while it shared two state constituency
seats with its main rival, the APC.
Secondus, who also appraised the conduct of
elections by INEC since the assumption of office by
the Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood
Yakubu, expressed concern that all the elections
conducted by the electoral body since then were
He cited the Kogi, Bayelsa and the recent Rivers
states’ rerun elections as examples.
Secondus said, “Now in Rivers, because the PDP won
all the elections despite the intimidation by the
military, the results are being released piecemeal
because the APC has failed woefully in all the
“It is apparent that the commission has become a
department in the APC. The commission is being
controlled by the APC. The commission has lost its
independence and we have empirical evidence on
Secondus further alleged that the commission had
yet to fix a date for fresh election in the state in the
areas that were cancelled because it “was waiting for
instruction from the APC.”
He said, “They haven’t fixed a date for rerun because
of the APC. INEC is now being supervised by the
leadership of the APC and the Buhari administration.
“They are no longer independent and we are losing
confidence in INEC. In the Federal Capital Territory,
election date was announced but suddenly, because
they knew the APC was going to lose, they postponed
the election after we had spent money and time.
“All these show that INEC is now a parastatal of the
APC. The danger is that this current leadership that
will conduct the general elections in 2019 has been
“The forthcoming Edo and Ondo states’ governorship
elections are in danger. With what happened in
Rivers, Nigeria is in danger.
“There may be no election in 2019 with the way INEC
is conducting itself as a parastatal of the APC.”
The commission has however dismissed the PDP
allegation, saying it would not be forced to announce
result of inconclusive elections.
The Deputy Director, Voter Education and Publicity at
the commission, Mr. Nick Dazang, who spoke with
our correspondent, also denied the allegation that
the electoral body was being controlled by the APC.
He said elections were stopped in Rivers because of
many reasons.
He said, “As of the time of the suspension of further
action by the commission, the exercise was at
different stages.
“For example, the elections had been concluded in
some constituencies with the declaration of results
and return of winners by the respective Returning
Officers; results declared and/or returns made under
duress or by unauthorised persons; collation had
been concluded but no declaration or return made;
voting had been concluded and collation was ongoing
but yet to be concluded; voting concluded but
collation yet to commence; and /or no voting at all or
voting commenced but was disrupted before
He said these were the reasons why the election was
stopped. Dazang called on the PDP, which he
described as a formidable opposition, to stop
peddling unfounded rumour.

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