By Judith Ufford
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has advised the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to see his reappointment as opportunity to improve on the nation’s electoral processes.
The party gave the advice in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja on Wednesday.
Ologbondiyan said that the re-appointment entrusted on Yakubu the fate, hope and future of some 200 million Nigerians as well as that of generations yet unborn.
He said that in the light of the five-year extension, PDP hoped that miscarriages in electoral process would have no place in the new order.
Ologbondiyan stated that with Yakubu’s re-appointment, he has been given enough time and opportunity to redeem the image of INEC as well as preparation for credible, free and fair elections in the country.
“At least, with this reappointment whatever happens in our future elections cannot be ascribed to inexperience and lack of adequate preparedness on the side of INEC.
“We consider this reappointment by President Muhammadu Buhari as an impetus to demonstrate a readiness for a free fair and credible election, which Mr.President had always promised to bequeath at the end of his second and final term in office in 2023.”
Ologbondiyan urged the INEC Chairman to spend the nearly two years ahead of the next general election to rejig the commission.
“Yakubu should work out appropriate electoral policies and guidelines and push for amendment of the Electoral Act, in conjunction with the National Assembly, to give our nation a credible electoral process.
“He must be mindful of the aphorism that to whom much is given, much more is expected.
“His reappointment, therefore, comes with a lot of expectations by Nigerians.”
Ologbondiyan also advised Yakubu to quickly painstaking look into issues that aid manipulations, rigging, violence and inconclusive elections which marred most of the previous elections.
“Yakubu should note that the future, stability and corporate existence of our nation have been entrusted in his hands as credible election is the bedrock of any democratic society.”
He urged the National Assembly, particularly, the Senate, to focus on those pertinent issues in the course of screening Yakubu to ensure that the failures of the past were not accommodated in the new era.