THE Peoples Democratic Party has on Thursday said that it
would reject any election conducted by the Acting Chairman
of Independent National Electoral Commission, Mrs. Amina
Despite them rejecting any election conducted by Zakari, this only would be limited to elections in which the party did not win.
“It will be very difficult to accept any result of the election conducted by Amina Zakari. It will be difficult for the PDP to accept result of election if we lose under Zakari,” the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metuh, said.
This is even as the party told the international community
to caution President Muhammadu Buhari and the All
Progressives Congress over what the opposition PDP
described as “draconian and authoritarian rule by the
Oliseh Metuh spoke when he paid a visit to the National
Democratic Institute and the International Republican
Institute in Abuja.A PUNCH correspondent learnt that the visit by Metuh was not unconnected to the planned visit of Buhari to the United States of America on Sunday.
Speaking during the visits, Metuh alleged that the INEC
acting chairman was a ‘daughter’ to Buhari; hence she
would not be fair in the discharge of her responsibilities as
the nation’s electoral umpire. Zakari was appointed into the INEC five years ago as a national commissioner by former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
Jonathan, who was the presidential candidate of the PDP in
the 2015 elections, was defeated by President Buhari of the
Metuh said, “We have INEC and the idea is that people
heading it should be above board, but the present ruling
party has appointed the ‘daughter’ of the President to head
“There is nowhere in the world where such has happened, a
person who has a relationship with the President.
“I am drawing the attention of the IRI to this. Buhari has
appointed his ‘daughter’ as INEC chairman; we believe
there will not be fairness.”
But the APC, in its reaction to the PDP position, said under
Nigeria’s laws, elections could not be invalidated “just
because one of the political parties has refused to
recognise the law.”
The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai
Mohammed, told our correspondent on the telephone that
his party would only wish the PDP well in its adventure.
He said, “Under our law, elections are not invalidated just
because one of the 29 political parties has refused to
recognise a commission properly constituted by the law.
“If the PDP says it won’t recognise the head of the
commission, who was even appointed into the commission
by the PDP government, we can only wish it well.”
The PDP spokesman also decried Buhari’s style of
leadership, alleging that the President had been sidelining
PDP governors in running the affairs of the country.
He said that under Jonathan, governors from the opposition
parties always accompanied the former President on
He alleged that Buhari had been working hard to silence the
opposition by “harassing, muscling and intimidating them.”
He cited the issue of the Deputy Senate President, Ike
Ekweremadu, adding that the Presidency had been using
the security apparatus to intimidate the deputy senate
He said, “I want to alert the international community on
issues that, if they are not handled very well, may truncate
our democracy. We have witnessed a remarkable change in
the past few days.
“We encourage freedom and in just two months in power,
we have witnessed organised witch-hunt by the leadership
of the APC in trying to muscle our people.”
Responding, the NDI Resident Country Director, Jasper
Veen, noted that anywhere in the world, the most important
area to tackle was the political party itself.
He noted that the way Nigerian political parties recruit
people for key positions was a reflection of the political
He drummed up support for internal democracy, consoling
the PDP that to be in the opposition was not easy.
The Resident Programme Officer of the IRI, Sentell Barnes,
on the other hand promised the PDP to take up the
information shared by Metuh.
He said that there was strong commitment between the US
government and Nigeria, insisting that the US would ensure
that democratic tenets reigned in Nigeria.