By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Friday, called on the European Union to prevail on members of the security agencies to remain apolitical during the conduct of the forthcoming general elections.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, made the call when the party received Mrs Hannah Roberts, Deputy Chief Observer, European Union Election Observation Mission Nigeria 2019, at the Wadata plaza, on Friday in Abuja.
Ologbondiyan expressed concern over the way and manner members of the security agencies seemed to have abdicated their statutory responsibilities during conduct of recent elections in some states of the federation.
He said that the PDP believed that election should be free and fair.
“PDP as a party does not believe in violence, but would like presidency and INEC to conduct free and fair election, outside of this, we will not agree.”
Ologbondiyan also expressed concern over Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) sincerity to conduct credible elections, especially where Mrs Amina Zakari, INEC’s National Commissioner, would play key role in the said election.
The PDP national spokesperson noted that it was not only PDP that was averse to this arrangement.
He said that other political parties had also expressed reservations on the seeming partisan role of security agencies and that of Zakari in the forthcoming coming elections.
“Zakari should not be found anywhere near the process. We have made our position known to INEC because there will be a direct conflict of interest.”
Speaking earlier, Roberts said that they were in Nigeria ahead of the election to have discussions with electoral stakeholders.
She said that the mission would have discussion with range of stakeholders including the political parties and candidates , saying “we have to first meet variety of people.
“We have observers as we have in the past, spread around the country, so that they can see the reality on ground.
“The Chief observer will be becoming to observe the election; we have contact with key persons in the party; we hope you will make yourself available, so that we can know what is going on.
“As you know, we are invited into the country by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), we can’t control anything.
“Our mandate is to observe and make recommendations and issue statements, particularly after the election and finally make recommendations after the election, in other to make future election better,” Roberts said. (NAN)