Immediate past Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP Prince Uche Secondus has charged the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to do everything to ensure it conducts free, fair and credible election in the September 28, 2016 Edo state gubernatorial election.
Prince Secondus said that the Edo state election provides ample opportunity for the Prof Mahmood Yakubu led INEC to redeem its name from the previous inconclusive and questionable outings of the commission since he assumed the leadership of the electoral body.
The former Deputy National Chairman said in a statement at the weekend that the implication of INEC failing to conduct credible poll in Edo state would be far reaching in the sustenance of democracy in the country as well as to national stability.
Determined to draw the attention of the commission to the consequences of conducting bad and unacceptable elections, Prince Secondus took them down memory lane to instances in the past where failure of the commission came with enormous upshot on democracy and the country.
According to the former PDP boss, the process that led to the collapse of the first republic was ignited by poor conduct of election in the then Western region that caused the eruption of crisis which eventually engulfed the entire country. Ditto the collapse of the Second Republic which followed the then doubtful landslide victory of the defunct National Party of Nigeria, NPN.
Even the third republic became still born due to the apparent inability of the electoral body then to have a conclusive and generally acceptable election.
Prince Secondus said he has taken time to bring these historical facts out to remind INEC leadership of the scale of the challenges ahead of them and to also put before them the huge consequences of under performing.
He particularly charged the commission’s Chairman Prof Yakubu to do all within his powers to ensure that the envious integrity attached to his name before his appointment is not dented especially as evidence abound that history is usually harsh with previous electoral umpires who performed below par.
Secondus reminded the Commission’s boss that he should be concerned that all elections conducted by the commission under his watch have not been transparent and credible starting with Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo to Rivers states and even the local Government council election in the Federal Capital Territory.
Prince Secondus then said that the Edo state election provides a huge opportunity for the commission to restore its image and assure Nigerians and indeed global democratic watchers that the commission under his leadership can conduct general election in 2019.
The former PDP boss also advised the security agencies who would participate in the Edo poll to be very professional and try to resist the temptation of getting involved in any partisan roles as such would undermine their statutory duties.
He told the commission and the security agencies to bear in mind that it is Nigerians and not any political party that gave them the responsibility in the constitution and therefore they should be guided by the desire of the people and their consciences at all times.
Secondus finally charged PDP voters in Edo state to cast and defend their votes by being vigilant to ensure that only the will of the majority of Edo people hold-sway. He also charged local and international observers as well as the media to watch out for the rigging antics of the All Progressives congress APC.