The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Sunday, advised the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to use the November 11 governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States to redeem its image.
It also urged the electoral body to replace the Imo Resident Electoral Commissioner, Sylvia Agu, to avoid a repeat of the electoral chaos recorded in Adamawa State during the last governorship election.
National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, at a press conference, in Abuja, said: “The PDP has noted the statement by INEC Chairman that INEC will make full use of its Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, and the INEC Result Viewing, IreV, portal for uploading and electronic transmission of results in the November 11, 2023 governorship elections in Imo, Bayelsa and Kogi states.
“The PDP has reviewed issues relating to the conduct of the November 11, 2023 elections in the three states and states as follows:
“The PDP notes that the INEC Chairman has confirmed that the use of BVAS and IREV in this election and even in previous election is a mandatory statutory requirement of the law
“The PDP holds INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, directly responsible and accountable to his pronouncements and that INEC is bound by Law to electronically transmit results directly from the polling units using these technologies.
“The PDP is fully prepared for these elections and in line with the commitment of INEC will not accept any other means of transmitting results in these elections except as this manner pronounced by the INEC Chairman in line with requirement of Electoral Act, 2022.”
Ologunagba stressed that the PDP has commenced training of its polling agents at all levels to ensure total compliance to the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) Electoral Act, 2022, INEC Guidelines and Regulations especially as confirmed by the INEC Chairman.
The PDP Spokesman said the Party remains confident of victory in the three states because all candidates in the affected states; Duoye Diri (Bayelsa), Samuel Anyanwu (Imo) and Dino Melaye of Kogi, have proven track records of public service and are popular with their people.
On the demand for the sack of the Imo State REC, he said: “The PDP for the umpteenth time, demands for the immediate removal of the Imo State INEC REC, Prof. Sylvia Agu.
“The PDP and other political parties had written several letters to INEC. Recently the political parties including the PDP, LP, YPP, ADC, AA among others staged a peaceful protest to INEC demanding for her immediate removal.”
According to him, the PDP does not have confidence in the ability of Prof. Agu to be fair to all parties contesting in the November 11, 2023 governorship election.
This, he explained, was based on her conduct in the 2023 National and House of Assembly elections where “she allegedly manipulated and brazenly assisted the APC in rigging the elections.”
Ologunagba, a lawyer by training also alleged that Agu is a direct relation of a national officer of the APC and there are allegations that she is being further compromised to assist the APC to rig the November 11 governorship election in Imo State
He noted that her continued stay in office as Imo REC is provocative, inciting and amounts to testing the willof the people of Imo State and daring them to do their worst.
Ologunagba further said,
“INEC has a lot of RECs from which the INEC Chairman can choose to replace Prof. Sylvia Agu and avoid a scenario that could be worse than what happened in Adamawa State governorship election where INEC refused to change the compromised REC.”