The Peoples Democratic Party said on Thursday that it would reject the outcome of any election conducted by Acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mrs. Amina Zakari.
It however, added a caveat – the rejection of the result would be limited to elections in which the party did not win.
“It will be very difficult to accept any result of the election conducted by Amina Zakari. It will be difficult for the PDP to accept result of election if we lose under Zakari”, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metuh, said.
This is even as the party called on the international community to caution President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress over what it described as “draconian and authoritarian rule by the present government”.
Metuh voiced these concerns when he paid a visit to the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute in Abuja.
Speaking during the visits, Metuh alleged that Mrs. Zakari was a ‘daughter’ to Buhari; hence she would be biased in the discharge of her responsibilities as the nation’s electoral umpire.
According to Metuh, “We have INEC and the idea is that people heading it should be above board, but the present ruling party has appointed the ‘daughter’ of the President to head the position.
“There is nowhere in the world where such has happened, a person who has a relationship with the President.
“I am drawing the attention of the IRI to this. Buhari has appointed his ‘daughter’ as INEC chairman; we believe there will not be fairness”.
The PDP’s claim is strange considering the fact that Zakari was appointed into the INEC five years ago as a national commissioner by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Speaking further, the PDP spokesman faulted Buhari’s leadership style, alleging that he had been sidelining PDP governors in running the affairs of the country.
Metuh recalled that under Jonathan, governors from the opposition parties always accompanied the former President on foreign trips, a trend that has not been sustained so far under Buhari.
On all his foreign trips since he assumed power in May, President Buhari has been accompanied only by members of his party and his latest trip to the U.S on Sunday is not any different as governors of Imo, Edo, Borno, Nasarawa and Oyo, all members of the governing APC, have been confirmed to be on his entourage.
Metuh alleged that Buhari had been working hard to silence the opposition by “harassing, muscling and intimidating them”.
Of specific mention is the issue of the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who the PDP spokesman alleged the Presidency had been using the security apparatus to intimidate him.
He said, “I want to alert the international community on issues that, if they are not handled very well, may truncate our democracy. We have witnessed a remarkable change in the past few days.
“We encourage freedom and in just two months in power, we have witnessed organised witch-hunt by the leadership of the APC in trying to muscle our people”.
Responding, the NDI Resident Country Director, Jasper Veen, noted that anywhere in the world, the most important area to tackle was the political party itself.
He noted that the way Nigerian political parties recruit people for key positions was a reflection of the political system.
He, however, drummed up support for internal democracy, consoling the PDP that to be in the opposition was not easy task.
The Resident Programme Officer of the IRI, Sentell Barnes, on the other hand promised to take up the information shared by Mr. Metuh and share it with relevant bodies.
He said that there was strong commitment between the US government and Nigeria, insisting that the US would ensure that democratic tenets are strengthened in Nigeria.
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