The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the admission by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of the existence of underage voters in its voter register has vindicated its position and clearly shows that the opposition party has not been crying wolf where there was none.
The party said in a statement issued by Kola Ologbondiyan, its National Publicity Secretary in Abuja on Thursday that while it acknowledges the development, it rejects moves by the “indicted” commission to unilaterally clean up the discredited register and eliminate the minors without involving all stakeholders including political parties in the process.
According to the statement, this is principally because the PDP had already been made aware that INEC, under Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has been “instructed by the Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to retain the underage voters, particularly in Katsina, Kano states and other porous states where they plot to use them to rig election for President Muhammadu Buhari.”
The party added: “That INEC has been compromised by the APC clearly demonstrated in their earlier spirited denials of the existence of underage voters in the register.
“Nigerians are aware that INEC only admitted the illegality following preponderance of incontestable documentary evidence exposed by the PDP.
“Furthermore, we are already aware of other illegalities being perpetrated in INEC by the APC to manipulate the electoral process not only for the 2019 general election but also the forthcoming governorship elections in Osun and Ekiti States.
“We are aware that a blood relation of President Buhari, who has been made in charge of a very sensitive department in INEC, has been perfecting all manner of rigging plans, including the exposed plans to create illegal 30,000 polling units in porous areas to be used to allocate votes for President Buhari.
“We are also aware of underhand registration of APC agents as election observers, as well as the manipulation of INEC voters’ and constituency data to favour the APC.”
The PDP also charged Prof. Yakubu to explain to Nigerians why his commission allegedly secretly registered over 4,000 APC agents as observers for the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections.
It stated: “INEC should explain why it registered observers without the knowledge of other stakeholders, particularly the major political parties contesting in the elections.
“It is clear that the sneaky activities of the commission and the APC are all aimed at institutionalizing their planned rigging of the governorship elections but we want to assure that such will be firmly resisted at all level of the electoral process.
“We, therefore, demand the immediate cancellation of the registration of observers for the Ekiti and Osun state governorship elections and demand the conduct of a fresh registration that involves all stakeholders if indeed they want Nigerians to have faith in their processes.
“Prof. Yakubu must understand that Nigerians are taking note of the erosion of the independence and public confidence in INEC under his watch and are not ready to accept any process or results that do not reflect the democratic will of the people in any election at any level across the country.”