Monday, August 22, 2016

Rivers rerun: We’ve no confidence in INEC –PDP

Ahead of the Rivers State rerun elections fixed for October, former deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus has expressed reservations over the capacity of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deliver on free and fair electoral exercise.
The commission, at the end of a meeting with stakeholders last Thursday in Port Harcourt, had fixed October for the conduct of outstanding elections in the state.
But speaking with Daily Sun, Secondus, who incidentally is from the state, alleged that the commission had turned itself into an appendage of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and could no longer guarantee transparent elections.

Secondus alleged that a National Commissioner of INEC, Amina Zakari was bent on ensuring victory for the APC in the rerun elections.
“This is a PDP state. We won all the seats in the elections that have been conducted, APC did not win any, of course they went to court, and the court cancelled some of the elections and called for a rerun.
“That is why they are having this rerun election. We are solidly on ground, but our fear is that, consistently, INEC has shown it is biased and has become an instrument of APC. INEC has become a parastatal of APC and, in fact, APC has been dictating what INEC should do in Rivers State.
“There is one lady called Amina Zakari who has taken personal interest to give the seat in my senatorial district, against the people’s will, to Magnus Abe. She has taken a personal interest, and I can tell you, if she continues in this way, we will hold INEC responsible for destabilising this nation.
“They are defending what is not right, Buhari should call INEC to order.”
Reacting to the allegation, INEC spokesperson, Nick Dazang dismissed Secondus’ claim saying: “We called a stakeholders’ meeting and arrived at a new date with them. PDP was not isolated. So, it is not correct to say that we are favouring any party in Rivers.
“Our intention is to provide a level playing field for all the political parties. We are committed to winning the confidence of all parties in Rivers State. So, INEC has not compromised or given preferential treatment to any of the parties.”

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