The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday said it does not have confidence in the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC)
The National Chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, made the party’s position known while receiving a delegation of the United Nations, led by Mohamed Ibn Chambas in Abuja.
He called on the United Nations to intervene to prevent rigging during the 2019 general elections.
“The new leadership of INEC, after the 2015 elections, has conducted series of elections; they have done their best but much is left to be desired.
“INEC must come out clean and clear for all parties to have confidence in its ability to conduct a free and fair election. For us in the PDP, INEC has not given us the required confidence; we do not have confidence in INEC and that is one area we want the UN to intervene.
“We know no election is perfect but where malpractice is clear, INEC has to step up to its bidding,” he said.
The chairman urged the UN to intervene in the issue bothering on the registration of underage voters in Kano and other parts of the country and called on National Assembly to carry out its statutory duties of amending and making laws which included the Electoral Act.
The chairman said that the PDP was ready to obey any law passed by the legislature and that the party was ready for victory no matter the sequence of election.
He said that the timely intervention of the United Nations would go a long way to restore confidence and to ensure free and fair elections.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, said the United Nations desired early engagement with stakeholders for effective preparations adding that due to the successes of the 2015 general elections, the world body had continued to use Nigeria as a yardstick for other African countries.
He said there was need for a consensus of all stakeholders around INEC for a free and fair outing in 2019.
…as commission targets 80m voters
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday said the commission was targeting registration of 80 million Nigerians in the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) ahead of the 2019.
The Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, said this at a dialogue with a coalition of Civil Society Organisations in Abuja.
Mr. Yakubu, who was represented by Okey Ibeanu, an INEC National Commissioner, said that so far, the commission had added other four million registrants to the voters’ register to raise the figure to around 72, 73 million.
He said that if the rate of registration being experienced was anything to go by, the number would approach 80 million by the time the process was concluded.
He said that the commission expended between N115 billion and N120 billion on the 2015 polls.
“Elections are not really coming cheap in Nigeria so to speak; the 2015 election cost the country between 115 and 120 billion naira.
“Compared to that of 2015, the 2019 election budget would be affected by the current exchange rate of naira to dollars.
“Now you can do a computation, N150 to the dollar in 2015 and 300 to the dollar right now. You can then imagine what the present election might cost,” he said.
Mr. Yakubu explained that the electoral umpire had done everything possible to keep the budget for the 2019 election consistent with the exiting realities of the country.
“Again, this goes back to the question of concluding on the electoral legal framework because if you are going to do transmission by law from the polling units that means additional cost.
“If you are going to have an additional round of election that will mean additional cost.
“So these are some of the issues that tie the electoral legal framework to the budget, to the planning.” The INEC chairman said that the Electoral Act provided that 60 days into a new year or not later than 60 days into a new year, the commission should avail political parties the list of registered voters from the previous year.
He said that the commission had already complied with that, adding that political parties received the registered voters from 2017 about two or three weeks ago.