The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday said the silence by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the alleged discovery of “thousands of its Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) at the private residence of President Muhammadu Buhari’s kinsman, the sacked Director General of the Department of State Services, Lawal Daura, has indicted the commission.” PDP said INEC’s silence placed a “huge doubt over its integrity and capacity to conduct a free and fair election.”
In a statement by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, the opposition party charged the National Assembly to immediately commence an investigation into the “veracity of this allegation.” PDP noted that since the news of the “sordid discovery broke, neither the INEC Chairman nor any other officer of the commission had offered any explanation to Nigerians, a development that suggests the commission’s complicity in the allegation.”
The party said “Prof. Mahmood should stop playing the ostrich and immediately come out clear and inform Nigerians how thousands of electoral materials as sensitive as PVCs, under his watch, found its way to the custody of a kinsman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirant. “Already, Nigerians are aware that a blood relation of President Buhari is in charge of operations in INEC. “On account of this established relationship between President Buhari and this INEC official, Mahmood owes Nigerians explanation as to the source of the PVCs allegedly found in possession of Daura.
“Nigerians and the international community can now see how INEC, under Prof. Yakubu Mahmood has completely compromised the integrity of our electoral process, including frustrating genuine voters from accessing their voters cards, which the public now knows are being warehoused in homes of APC chieftains with the view to using them to allocate fake election results for President Buhari.” The party urged “Nigerians to hold Prof. Mahmood directly responsible for this ignoble development, particularly, given that his INEC has been indicted of other various infractions tailored to undermine free and fair elections in 2019, including secretly creating of illegal 30,000 pulling units in remote areas through which they plan to fabricate figures and declare fake results in favour President Buhari.
“This is in addition to the refusal of INEC under Prof. Mahmood to clean up its register and remove the host of underage voters which it used to rig elections for the APC in President Buhari’s home state of Katsina last weekend. “Nigerian are aware that INEC refused to involve other stakeholders in its investigation of the presence of underage voters in its register, and had also refused to make its findings public, following documented facts supporting the existence of minors in its register, particularly in Katsina, Kano and Kaduna states.” The opposition charged the “public to note the efforts by INEC to conceal these manipulations of our electoral process in the run-up to a major general election and hold Prof. Mahmood responsible for them all.
“Finally, we urge the National Assembly to look into the extent of involvement of Prof. Yakubu Mahmood in this clear effort to undermine the integrity of the 2019 general elections.”