By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Abuja – The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Thursday in Abuja, said it was consulting on whether or not to participate in the 2019 general elections.
PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus said this when he received a delegation of a Joint International Election Observation Mission fielded by two main American international civil agencies, the National Democratic Institute, (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI).
Secondus said that the party had been calling on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to conduct a free, fair and transparent election in accordance with the constitution of the country.
He, however, said that with Ekiti experience, PDP believed that some INEC staff had been compromised while the commission and security agents were directly involved in the alleged manipulation.
The national chairman stressed the need to restore the citizens’ confidence in the electoral process.
“As a matter of fact we did not contest against the All Progressives Congress (APC), we contested against the security agencies and INEC.
“Moving forward, if nothing is done to restore the confidence of ordinary Nigerians and other political parties, then it may be difficult to accept the results of 2019 general election, no matter what the outcome may be.
“Unless it is transparent, free and fair and it is a recipe for crises.
“We believe that if we are not sure that both INEC and security agencies will be transparent and that they will not take side, we are consulting as to whether we shall participate or not.
Secondus said that prior to the Ekiti State election, PDP protested to the National Assembly and INEC office to demand for free and fair election.
He said that PDP thought that the election could be better because Ekiti was one of the smallest states in the country.
“However, Ekiti was militarized by the presence of army, the presence of police, of course over 30, 000.
“Our members were harassed, arrested and detained over the night. All of these things happened in the suburbs,” Secondus alleged.
Secondus said that the party had rejected the outcome of the election because it believed that the outcome had been manipulated.
Speaking earlier, the leader of the delegation and President emeritus of the Fund for Peace (USA), Dr Pauline Baker said the delegation was at PDP to hear of its opportunity and challenges ahead of future elections.
“We are here to hear from you the challenges and opportunities on the upcoming elections and most importantly what challenges you encountered so that we can discuss with INEC.