The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has cautioned the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, “not to succumb to pressure to manipulate the electoral process for President Buhari”, saying that, “such could cause serious crisis capable of disarticulating the nation.”
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, warned in a statement, in Abuja, on Sunday night, that President Buhari’s handlers, “who are desperate to force him on an unwilling nation, are fast pushing the nation to the brinks, and should be checked before it is too late.”
He maintained that the PDP’s fresh caution to the INEC Chairman, was predicated on an alleged secret meeting he held with President Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, last Friday.
Ologbondiyan added that, it was also wrong for the Commission to have listed President Buhari as a Presidential Candidate, despite his inability to provide his educational qualification certificate.
He said: “Prof. Yakubu should note that the polity is already tensed over INEC’s listing of President Buhari for election, despite his failure to present the constitutionally required academic credentials like other candidates. This development casts a dark shadow on the credibility of INEC to conduct a transparent election.
“INEC is invited to further note that Nigerians are aware that by President Buhari’s declaration in an affidavit, that his said certificates are with the Military, his nomination documentation is therefore, constitutionally incomplete, making him ineligible to contest the 2019 Presidential election.
“Also, by failing to write to the Military authorities to release his claimed certificates, Mr. President leaves Nigerians with no option than to hold that he does not have the credentials, and the 1999 Constitution (as amended) did not provide that affidavits can be used as a substitute for any Candidate’s credentials.
“Moreover, Mr. President’s affidavit also shows that he did not submit any certificate in 2015, making his candidacy for that election, improper and defective under our laws.
“Professor Yakubu must have noted the heavy public criticisms that have been trailing his provocative declaration, that Nigerians should go to court over the certificate saga.
“His statement betrays an electoral umpire, who is under threats and heavy pressure to abdicate his statutory duty of enforcing constitutional requirements for elections.”
Ologbondiyan added that, the PDP was of the opinion that allowing such siege mentality on the nation’s democratic Institutions to fester, would spell doom for the county.
In its reaction to the PDP, earlier on, the APC said that it would not be distracted by an opposition party, whose strategy was to distract the governing party from focusing on issues which had a direct bearing on Nigeria’s development.
The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said: “They will not distract us from focusing on what we have done for the Nigerian people, since 2015.
“We will not be reacting to the PDP; we will concentrate on rendering an account of our stewardship to the Nigerian people. We are not afraid to do so, because we know we have done well.”
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