Election tribunal: PDP governors decry DSS alleged interference
THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum yesterday condemned the alleged involvement of the Department of State Service (DSS) in election tribunal’s matters in Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Abia states.
In a communiqué issued after its meeting yesterday in Abuja, which was presented to journalists by the forum’s chairman and Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko, the PDP governors stated that the alleged involvement of the DSS in elections tribunal’s matters was an attempt to stifle opposition.
The communiqué reads in part, among others: • “The forum condemns in very strong terms the alleged worrisome meddlesomeness of the Department of State Service in election tribunal’s matters, especially in Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Abia states.
It is against the spirit, ethos, values and fundamental tenets of democratic norms and tradition; more so with the existence of the Electoral Act and the Constitution.
The forum is worried, alarmed and shocked by this development. A situation where officials of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in these three states, (all PDP states) are daily being arrested, detained and questioned on election-related offences even when the cases are on-going at the tribunals, spells doom and poses imminent danger to our fledgling democracy.
The alleged interference is an attempt to stifle the opposition and this is most unacceptable. We insist that the trend be reversed. No democracy survives without a viable opposition in any part of the world.
INEC is supposed to be an independent commission and its officials ought to be shielded from partisanship, especially at a time when the dust raised by the alleged APC membership of the DG of the SSS, Mr. Lawal Musa Daura, is yet to settle.”
In another development, Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State yesterday expressed confidence that the PDP would win the November gubernatorial election despite the growing influence of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the federal level.
Wada, who stated this when he obtained his nomination form at the PDP secretariat in Abuja, however, said that he was not disturbed by the refusal of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to grant him the right of first refusal that was granted other serving PDP governors during the general elections.
He said despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at the last general election, PDP still had good performance in the state Assembly election.
You could observe that while Buhari won the presidential election in Kogi State, PDP clearly won the state House of Assembly positions.
That shows that PDP is clearly on ground in the state.” Wada said he was not disturbed by the party’s decision not to offer automatic ticket to any of the aspirants in the state, adding that there is no provision for automatic ticket in the party’s constitution and that he was ready to work with any of the aspirants that emerge as PDP’s candidate.