National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to postpone Osun West Senatorial bye-election, scheduled for July 8, 2017.
Sheriff gave the advice in a statement issued by his acting spokesperson, Mr Bernard Mkko, on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that PDP’s attention had been drawn to “subterranean efforts” of the Government of Osun to precipitate the postponement of the bye-election from July 8, to a preferred and pre-determined date.
He recalled that INEC had at a meeting of stakeholders, assured all the political parties that the July 8 date for the bye-election was irrevocably sacrosanct.
Sheriff added INEC represented by its Director of Administration in the state, Mr Emmanuel Ademusire, at the meeting, also announced the deployment of five commissioners to oversee the election.
“We are therefore constrained to warn that any attempt to yield to the antics of undemocratic forces using spurious or fake security report as an excuse will not be tolerated.
“Nigerians are sufficiently enlightened to understand the antics of desperate politicians that may want to use their privileged positions to undermine our electoral process and put our democracy in peril.
“The legitimacy of our leaders is hinged on a credible, fair and transparent electoral process.
“Once the confidence of the electorate is lacking in the electoral umpire, our hard earned democracy will be in jeopardy,” he said.
Sheriff expressed hope that INEC would not yield to any blackmail to shift the date of the election.
He called on civil society organizations, pro-democracy activists, election monitoring groups and members of the diplomatic community to be vigilant.
He also urged them to ensure that all stakeholders played by the rules and refrain from changing the goal post at the middle of the game.
According to the chairman, upholding the tenets of democracy and the rule of law is the only way to credible and transparent electoral process in the conduct of the by election.