National Chairman Prince Uche Secondus of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded the immediate resignation of Inspector General Mr. Ibrahim Idris and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
Secondus, who spoke at PDP National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, said the party has lost confidence in the capacity of the IG and the INEC Chairman to guarantee free and fair elections.
He insisted that both the IG and the INEC aided the All Progressives Congress (APC) in rigging the last Ekiti and Osun states governorship elections.
Secondus warned that the PDP would not accept the outcome of rigged elections, adding that there would be a national crisis, if the 2019 elections were rigged.
Also speaking at the event, the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubabar, expressed his readiness to engage President Muhammadu Buhari in a public debate on key national issues in the 2019 elections.
His speech was interrupted with a snide remark from an unidentified voice who asked if Atiku was referring to “Jubril”, an alleged non-existent body double of the President. The mischief has been trending in the social media space lately.
Atiku, however, replied the voice, asking: “Which Jubril? Is it the one in Sudan or the one in Abuja?”, a remark that drew an outburst from the party faithful present in the hall.
The opposition presidential candidate called on the President to sign into law, the Electoral Act amendment which is on his desk, if he is really interested in the conduct of free, fair and credible elections.
Atiku said signing the Electoral Act Amendment into law was necessary because elections were governed by laws and that good laws were required to ensure credible elections.
“Such laws constrain the behaviour of all who are involved in the electoral process, including the candidates and their supporters, security agents and the electoral umpire (in this case the INEC)”, Atiku said.
He said if elected, his administration would enthrone a policy of strict adherence to fiscal responsibility in the conduct of government business.
Atiku said: “Our aim is to work very hard and collectively liberate our nation from the shackles of hunger, starvation, deprivation, bloodletting, killings and division, which bedevil us today. We must all work hard to return our nation to the path of harmony, peace and progress.
“We need to be disciplined in our campaign because we are facing a desperate APC. The coming election may be the toughest presidential election since the return of democracy.
“The APC has chosen personal attacks over issues, instead of campaigning on achievements. My campaign will be focused on issues not character assassination and personal attacks.
“We should be telling Nigerians what we want to do differently to get Nigeria working again. We must be vigilant at the polling units. We must demand the removal of the IGP. Elections are governed by laws and rules guiding the behaviour of all those involved.”
Senate President Bukola Saraki, who also spoke at the event, urged party leaders and stakeholders to remain united and strong as the elections draw nearer.
The party inaugurated a 154-member Campaign Council after the NEC meeting, with Secondus named as chairman of the council.
Atiku is co-chairman of the council and former Kano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso is co deputy chairman.
Other members of the council are the governors elected on the platform of the party, the party’s principal officers of the National Assembly, all the presidential aspirants that contested with Atiku, former ministers, former principal officers of the National Assembly, members of the PDP National Working Committee and others.