The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said the decision of President Goodluck Jonathan to summon the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega to a meeting that was not attended by other political parties in Abuja on Tuesday was part of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP)’s moves to compromise the integrity of the commission.
Jega was present at a closed door meeting of the Security Council presided over by President Jonathan on Tuesday.
“Without the representatives of other political parties attending such meetings, irrespective of whether or not it is aimed at briefing security chiefs on the preparations for the polls, the ruling PDP and its presidential candidate are seeking to gain undue advantage over others ahead of the elections,” a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said.
“It is like the referee in a football match meeting with key officials of one of the teams ahead of the match. This is against the spirit of transparency and fairness and must stop forthwith.
“Had the representatives of other political parties apart from the PDP (the President is the leader of the PDP) attended the meeting, the widespread speculations that Jega’s life and job were threatened if he fails to drop the use of the card reader, as well as circulating reports that he will be removed before Saturday, would not have happened,” it said.
According to the party, whatever briefings the federal government wanted the INEC boss to be part of, representatives of all the political parties that will participate in the elections should have been invited.
The APC therefore warned the presidency to steer clear of the electoral officials if they want the forthcoming elections to be free, fair, credible and peaceful.
“Nigerians should note that nothing is yet guaranteed as far as the holding of the rescheduled elections is concerned. The Jonathan Administration and the PDP are still shopping for a court judgement to declare the use of the card reader unconstitutional, just because they are now painfully aware that Nigerians have rejected them and their party,” the APC said.