…Says party may take legal action
By Myke Uzendu, Abuja
National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Prince Uche Secondus has lamented that the ruling All Progressives Congress has murdered democracy by failing to enshrine electronic transmission of election results into the just concluded amendment of INEC bill.
The party Chairman in a press conference on Friday at the PDP headquarters in Abuja lambasted the lawmakers of the ruling party for voting against electronic transmission of election results and moves to whittle down the powers of the electoral umpire by pushing its responsibilities to other institutions. Secondus pointed out that the amendment was intended to create an enabling environment for elections to be more transparent, credible, free and fair devoid of killings, violence and alteration of result sheets.
He said, “By the choice of the All Progressives Congress, APC to put party interest before National interest, they have vividly murdered democracy by the actions of their members in the two chambers of the National Assembly.
“It’s an established fact in all democracies worldwide that a free, fair and credible election is the tripod of any democracy. The action of APC in swaying their members against Electronic transmission of Election Results clearly undermines and shows in unmistaken terms that APC is not ready to face the Nigerian electorate.
“It also shows that the dilly-dallying of APC all the while in amending the Electoral Act is deliberate as they never wanted from inception to do anything that will deepen democracy in our country”.
When asked that the opposition party and its members at the National Assembly failed to do the needed lobbying get lawmakers endorse electronic transmission of results he responded,
“The PDP has done so much and in fact even to get the amendment to this level was done by the PDP at the committee stage and public hearing. Everybody agreed that this should not be partisan; it should be of national interest.
“We are talking about transparency, we are also taking about free, fair and credible election, is it not for all, is it for one party against the other? We have played our roles, our members there both in the Senate and House of Representatives have played their roles and I believe that they have done the best for the country and that was why our members in the House of Reps stages a walkout”.
On the next line of action he said, “We have mandated our members, we are in consultation with our members to take every necessary legal action to make sure that Nigerians have the best of the electoral law in terms of amendment. It must be very transparent, and we must ensure that it is carried out by the public and INEC. It happened in Edo and Ondo where election results were transmitted, it was seamless. There was no confusion there, there was no burning down of houses, people didn’t gather at a spot.
“If this electoral laws are amended to suit Nigerians not to suit a particular political party, you will see that the insecurity that is attached with elections, rigging and all that will be totally eliminated.”
He informed that PDP will take all necessary legal steps to ensure that the action is not allowed to stand. He called on all lovers of democracy who see free, fair and transparent election as vital, to stand up against the decision of the 9th National Assembly.
He commended members of the PDP in the two chambers for standing up for democracy and voting in favour of the motion.