PDP may boycott future polls if rigging persists — Secondus

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Uche Secondus, on Monday, said it would be difficult for his party to participate in future elections if the current developments in the nation’s electoral process subsist.

He said the nation could not afford to continue on the path of manipulation of the electoral process by the Independent National Electoral Commission and security agencies.

Secondus spoke during a meeting between the PDP National Working Committee and INEC leadership in Abuja.

He urged the electoral body to be at the forefront of agitation for a fresh legal framework for the conduct of free, fair and credible election by legalising electronic voting in Nigeria.

He expressed the belief that electronic voting would lead to a credible and transparent election as well as reduce violence and other electoral malpractices.

The PDP chairman said the conduct of the last Kogi and Bayelsa states’ governorship elections was nothing to write home about.

Secondus said, “We in the PDP are in the forefront for legal framework for free and fair election. The PDP is not opposed to any electoral law that will prevent manipulation of the system.

“I would like to urge INEC to move quickly and initiate Electoral Act amendment that will legalise electronic voting and remove the influence of the military as primary security on election day.

“We expect INEC to be at the forefront of this process to have a legal framework for the conduct of a free, fair and credible election.

“We are not afraid to pour out our minds that if the same method use in the elections that took place in Bayelsa and Kogi will be the same method for subsequent elections, it will be very difficult for us to participate because I took time to refresh your memories with what has happened from 1959 till date.”

Secondus said such legal framework should address the issue of security, electronic voting and collation of results as well as punishments for electoral offenders.

He said the survival and sustenance of the nation’s democracy rested on the integrity of the electoral commission.

He said Nigeria must not continue to practise a defective presidential system modelled after the United States.

He said the country should adopt measures that would ensure total compliance with the US model of democracy and election.

He added, “We cannot continue this way. It is better to abandon the American model and then we can adopt the Egyptian model if we like.

“Let us adopt the Egyptian model where the military will be part and parcel of the election. But if we are operating the American model, which is presidential, then it will be seen as such.

“The silent majority are grumbling because in a situation where bad leaders are thrown up through unjust election, what you see is crisis across this nation.”

Secondus said it had not been easy for the opposition party to operate under President Muhammadu Buhari’s government of the All Progressives Congress.

INEC Deputy Director, Party Monitoring, Musa Husulu, said the delegation had noted the concerns of the party.

Written by Success Nwogu, Abuja, published on Punch Newspapers