15th June, 2010
The Action Congress (AC) has challenged the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, to fault, with facts rather than sentiments, its assertion that President Goodluck Jonathan is not serious about electoral reforms.
Reacting to the PDP’s rejection of the assertion, AC’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said in a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday that the party (AC) insists that the President has not done enough to convince Nigerians that he is ready to bequeath a legacy of free and fair elections to them.
It said the PDP would have been on a sound footing if it had been able to show that none of those appointed as either INEC Commissioners or Residents Electoral Commissioners is a card-carrying member of the party, instead of engaging in frivolous argument and name calling – as usual.
“However, since the PDP has challenged us, we will go further by mentioning the names of some of the card-carrying PDP members who have been appointed as Commissioners or RECs,” AC said.
“Ambassador Z. Anka contested the governorship of Zamfara on the platform of the PDP in 1999; Gen. Mamman is a member of the Board of Trustees of the PDP while Alhaji Yakubu Shehu contested the Senatorial elections in 2003 and 2007 on the platform of the PDP in Kaduna, and he is the Chairman of PDP stakeholders in Giwa LG area of Kaduna state. Yet all these people are on the President’s list of appointments into INEC,” the party said.
It also quoted a statement from the Enugu chapter of the CNPP, published on Tuesday, as saying Mr. Eddy Nwatalari from Enugu State is a card-carrying member of the PDP, and said more disclosures are sure to come out in the days ahead.
AC also challenged the PDP to deny that the President has jettisoned the advice on electoral reform given to him by the Presidential Advisory Committee (PAC), or the one saying the President wrote to state governors to nominate people for appointments into INEC.
On the PDP’s statement concerning the stand taken by the AC when the Uwais panel was set up, the party said its stand
was dictated purely by principle, and has now turned out to be prescient.
“What we said then was that an administration that benefitted from widely-rigged elections does not have the moral standing to preside over electoral reform. We also said that while the Uwais panel consists of people of integrity, they are likely to be used just to stabilise the polity and then rubbished, as their recommendations may be thrown overboard. We have been proven right,” AC said.
The party said even the mode of apppointments into INEC, as recommended by the Uwais panel and widely accepted by
Nigerians, has been ignored as shown by the recent appointments into the electoral body.
“Unfortunately, Prof Jega, who is a member of that panel and was not known to have disagreed with its recommendations, including that concerning the appointment of the INEC Chair, has gone ahead to accept the same job, even when that appointment did not follow the recommedations of the panel on which he served.
“This constitutes an integrity deficit that may hurt Jega, a widely-acclaimed fine gentleman with great credentials, in the long run,” AC said.
It said the PDP should leave it to Nigerians to decide which party, between the PDP and the AC, is either fizzling out or has already unravelled.