By Myke Uzendu, AbujaThe National chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus has alleged that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) may have started moves to rig the 2023 general elections following the suspension of the procurement of E- voting machines by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Secondus in a statement on Sunday by his media adviser, Ike Abonyi alleged that the recent development was as a result of the fact that the ruling party rejected the electronic mode election results transmission and had it passed by the National Assembly.
According to the statement, “every indication point to the unfortunate fact that President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, APC are not working towards conducting free, fair and transparent elections in 2023.The PDP boss made the claims at the weekend while reacting to a media report that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is halting its procurement of e- voting machines ahead of 2023 because of the rejection of electronic mode of transmission of results by the National Assembly.Secondus noted that since the existing Electoral Act and the Constitution gives unilateral powers to INEC to conduct credible elections in Nigeria, it does not need National Assembly position to do its legitimate duties.
The statement read: “From all indications, INEC is trying to abdicate its constitutionally assigned responsibilities of conducting free, fair and transparent elections hiding under the cover of delayed amended Electoral Act or rejection of e-transmission of results.
“Nigerians and democratic observers globally are watching INEC ahead of 2023 and it will be disastrous if the Independent electoral body dances to the antics of the ruling party.
”Secondus argued that if INEC was able to conduct implement electronic transmission of results at the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states in September and October in 2020 respectively without the amended Electoral Act, then it is still possible across the country.He expressed the readiness of the PDP to do everything legal to ensure that the will of the people is not compromised in the 2023 elections.The PDP chairman further urged Nigerians of all walks of life to work toward the conduct of free, fair and credible polls, adding that anything short of that would be disastrous for the nation.
The major opposition party had in 2015 introduced the use of card reader for voter accreditation and allowed the electoral body to introduce any electronic method that could be used to enhance credible conduct of elections but failed to push it to the national assembly for the necessary legislation.