The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum has passed vote of no confidence in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The governors, who met in Abuja on Sunday, condemned what they described as politicization of security agencies in the country by the Federal Government, especially the recent invasion of the residence of elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark.
The forum, in a statement by its Chairman, Governor Ayodele Fayose, yesterday said INEC needs to reinvent itself as a truly independent umpire.
“For now, we have no confidence in INEC. The commission has conducted itself as a tool of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government, especially with the roles of the Chairman, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu and a National Commissioner, Mrs. Amina Zakari,” the statement added.
It observed that security agencies have become organs and tools of the APC-led Federal Government to harass and intimidate the opposition and dissenting voices.
“The forum decries the use of security agencies to perpetrate electoral fraud as it happened in Ekiti, Osun and Rivers states and urged them to be non-partisan in the performance of their duties in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.
“The forum further condemn the flagrant violation of democratic ethos by operatives of this government as shown recently in the infamous act by the police at the residence of elder statesman, Pa Edwin Clark, and the harassment on innocent Nigerians across the country on frivolous claims,” the statement read.
According to the statement, the secret payment of N16 billion suspected Paris Club refund to the Osun State government is to corruptly induce Osun voters in the September 22 governorship election.
On the number of presidential aspirants on the platform of PDP, the governors resolved to hold an all-inclusive meeting with all the aspirants, together with the National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, and the leaders of the party in both chambers of the National Assembly.
They condemned the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign into law, the amended Electoral Act, and said it was an indication that the president and his party were afraid of electronic voting and the introduction of technology into the electoral system.
Meanwhile, the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the PDP has set up a committee to come up with a consensus presidential candidate among the aspirants.
The chairman of the BoT, Senator Walid Jibrin disclosed this in a statement in Kaduna yesterday.
Jibrin, who was also reappointed as BoT chairman for the next five years, disclosed that the committee is expected to sit down with the 12 presidential aspirants on the platform of the PDP and come up with one of them as the consensus candidate.
Jibrin, who was elected chairman of the BoT in 2013, is to serve for another five years.
The statement from the BoT chairman also said the decisions were taken at a meeting of the board which held on Thursday.
The statement noted that at the meeting, “the acting secretary of the board, Senator Adolpus Wabara, a former president of the Senate, was also confirmed as secretary for five years.
“The meeting advised all members to always maintain their honour and integrity as conscience of the party and to remain neutral and never sponsor or lead aspirants to visits and rallies as was done during the last convention.”
The BOT chairman said: “A committee was also set up to discuss with the 12 presidential aspirants in order to come up with one of them as candidate of the party.
“The party has been cautioned to manage the situation of new defectors to the party and also consider the role played by old members.
“As provided in the party constitution, the board is empowered to regulate its proceedings and draw code of conduct for its members. The board has decided to forward to the National Working Committee (NWC) its full recommendations,” he said.
The BOT chairman also congratulated Governor Fayose for withdrawing from the presidential race.
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