BEVERLY HILLS, November 22, (THEWILL) – The National Chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, has said that the nation’s democracy is under threat, following the manner in which the November 16th elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States were conducted and the outcomes that followed.
Secondus called for the cancellation of the governorship elections in both states, insisting that the elections were marred by violence, which led to several deaths.
Addressing journalists after a meeting of the party’s board of trustees in Abuja, Secondus stated that the party has video evidence of malpractices committed during the conduct of the elections.
Below is a full speech by Mr. Secondus, on the issues stemming from the governorship polls in both Bayelsa and Kogi states.
Text Of Press Conference by the National Chairman Of The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, on the Position of the PDP on the Violence, Killings, Abuse of Human Rights and Rigging in the November 16th Kogi And Bayelsa Governorship Elections.
Gentlemen of the Press,
We have invited you this afternoon to alert Nigerians and the international community that all is not well with our nation. A wave of terror is threatening our democracy; our constitutional order, national cohesion and safety of our citizens are now as at stake.
As the world witnessed, the official conspiracies, bloodletting and mindless killing of innocent citizens by agents of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration in connivance with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to aid the forceful seizure of power in the November 16th Kogi and Bayelsa State governorship elections, clearly show that our democracy is under severe attack.
In an apparent organized attack, government-controlled Police and military, working for the APC, deployed dangerous assault weapons, including helicopters to coordinate the violent invasion of polling units with maximum force; shooting, killing and maiming unarmed civilians, who were called out by government to perform their civic responsibilities at the elections.
The world watched with horror as killer security agents brutalized voters and carted away ballot boxes to government facilities were results were written in favour of the APC and handed to a heavily compromised INEC, which has become part of the crime, to announce.
From the report reaching our party, no fewer than 30 innocent compatriots were killed and many more injured in this organized crime against humanity by the APC, the Police and INEC.
The only crime of the citizens was their expressed determination to vote for the candidates of their choice as governors of Kogi and Bayelsa States as clearly manifested in the results from the polling centers before the forceful seizure of the electoral processes.
Most distressing is the gruesome incineration of one of our party’s woman leaders in Kogi State, Mrs. Acheju Abuh, in her home by APC thugs, a crime that was abetted by unscrupulous security agents.
Our party holds that this electoral fraud and crime against humanity, including established culpable homicide committed by the APC, security agents and INEC cannot be allowed to pass.
The leadership of our great party has thoroughly reviewed incontrovertible pieces of documentary of evidence including video clips, graphic pictures, witness testimonies, manipulated results sheets, proofs of compromising of INEC officials and other hard facts to establish the culpability of the Police and INEC in the electoral fraud as well as the unforgiveable culpable homicide and crime against humanity in the elections.
The PDP also restates that we have the details of the roles played by the Police high command and the INEC as well as other security and INEC officials in this election. Those details will be made public at the appropriate forum and time.
It is instructive to call the attention of Nigerians and the international community to the fact that since the election, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC Federal Government has failed to take any concrete steps to investigate the issues and bring culprits to book. The Police and INEC had also failed to take any decisive action to arrest and investigate their officers accused of involvement in various crimes in the elections.
We have also noted frantic efforts by the police hierarchy to explain away the crimes and sweep the killings under the carpet.
These only validate apprehension that the invasion of polling unit, killings and alteration of results were part of the premeditated power-grabbing designs of the APC.
The PDP states without equivocation that invasion of polling units and killing of voters to manipulate electoral results cannot be allowed in our democratic space. If the APC’s political brigandage that happened in Kogi and Bayelsa State is allowed to stand, such would be extended to other elections including the 2023 general elections and that would be a death knell to our democracy.
It is therefore a sacred duty we all owe our nation to pursue a redress for this crime within the ambits of our national and international laws.
In this regard, the PDP calls for the outright cancellation of the governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States as they are products of bloodshed and do not reflect the true wishes and aspiration of the people of the states.
We also demand the immediate cancellation of the Kogi West Senatorial election. This is the biggest fraud of the century.
The PDP, standing with millions of Nigerians also holds that the INEC and the Police high command must be made answer charges of electoral fraud and crime against humanity at the appropriate quarters.
The PDP therefore calls on the international community as well as international organizations including, the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), Commonwealth of Nations, the African Union (AU), ECOWAS to immediately impose sanctions, including travel bans, on the INEC and the Police high commands for abusing their offices and allegedly aiding or allowing acts that led to electoral fraud and violence in the elections.
The primary duty of INEC and the Police is to ensure free, fair and credible election. This they observed in the breach as even reported by agents, voters, stakeholders and independent observers in the elections. They must therefore be made to face the consequences to serve as deterrent to others.
The leadership of the PDP once more commends the people of Kogi and Bayelsa States for their resilience and resistance against oppressive forces during the election. Such patriotism will never be in vain.
Our leadership also condoles with the families of compatriots who were murdered by the APC. Indeed, their death can never be in vain as the mandate for which they were killed will be surely retrieved.
Moreover, somebody someday will bear the full sentence of guilt at the appropriate quarters, be it within the ambit of our domestic laws or those of the international laws.
In the meantime, we urge all members of the PDP to remain strong and undeterred as we collective exert ourselves in the defence of our nation’s democracy.
Thank you and God bless.