The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Friday reported to the United Nations (UN) alleging that the Presidency and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), were planning to “militarize and scuttle the conduct of the 2019 general elections, particularly, the presidential poll.”
The National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus stated this when he led members of the National Working Committee to receive the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Mr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, in his office in Abuja and was contained in a statement issued by the opposition party’s spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan.
Secondus alerted the UN Security Council that Buhari was already “compromising the military and other security forces as tools to muscle the electoral process.”
The statement quoted Secondus as saying there was alleged, “heightened tension across the country over the manipulations by the Buhari Presidency,” adding that “if the UN and the international community fail to intervene and support a credible, free and fair election, our nation may witness an electoral stillbirth, capable of triggering violence and humanitarian crisis in Nigeria and the entire sub-Sahara region.”
According to Secondus, “President Buhari is not preparing for elections. He is not prepared for the rigours of any electoral exercise. Every well-intentioned politician goes out to the street to engage and persuade the people with his or her manifesto and policies, but President Buhari is not ready to engage anybody in contest of ideas; that is why he is desperate to compromise our military as a measure of limitless powers to rig.
“The world saw how our Service Chiefs participated in President Buhari’s campaign rally. There is no way these Service Chiefs will not be pushed to resort to self-help on behalf of President Buhari and his APC in the election. The UN Security Council should note this and intervene to save our democratic process.
“President Buhari has militarized our electoral process. In the July and September governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states respectively, in addition to various bye-elections, military equipment were rolled out to prevent the opposition from voting. Citizens were freely manhandled, arrested and subjugated by security agents, who openly worked for the APC. Today, in Nigeria, the PDP is contesting with security forces and not with the APC.
“Also, President Buhari has compromised our Police. As we speak, the Inspector-General of Police has sealed the Akwa-Ibom state House of Assembly and seized an arm of government, just like they did in Benue state in July. Our country has been turned into a police state and there is fear everywhere.
“Similarly, our Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been annexed by the Buhari Presidency. This is the reason it has not been able to conduct any credible election in the last three and half years. Nigerians have lost confidence that INEC as presently constituted can guarantee credible polls in 2019. We, therefore, demand for the resignation of the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and Mrs. Amina Zakari, who is a niece of Mr. President.
“Our international partners must, therefore, insist and encourage a free, fair and credible electoral process. They must also caution against manipulation and other abuses that are capable of truncating our democracy and endangering the lives of Nigerians as a result of a failed electoral process.”