The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Sunday expressed total rejection to a purported plan by President Muhammadu Buhari to extend the tenure of Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris by another six months, alleging that such extension provides an opportunity for the President to perpetrate his rigging plan for 2019.
National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, made this objection while speaking with newsmen in Lagos, saying that the party gathered that the IGP had surrounded all the state commissioners of police with his own men who would be following them to any strategic meeting and spying for him, appealing to him to insulate the police from politics.
Ologbondiyan, who spoke accompanied by the spokesperson of the Presidential Campaign Council of PDP, Umar Sani, stated that even from Buhari’s body language, it was quite clear that he was not ready to give Nigeria free and fair elections, come 2019.
According to the PDP mouthpiece, “We reject in totality the extension of tenure of the Inspector-General for another six months. We are aware that doing so the president wants to perpetrate his rigging plan for 2019 election.
“Our party is also aware that the IG has surrounded the commissioners of police with his own men who would be following them to a strategic meeting, any meetings and be spying for him. We want to appeal to the Inspector- General of Police to insulate the police from politics.”
He maintained that President Buhari is totally against free and fair elections in the country as his refusal to sign the amended Electoral Act had shown, pointing out that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which promised not to use Incident Form, which allowed for rigging in past polls, was coming out with a format not quite different from one it was trying to discard.
Ologbondiyan said the PDP demanded that the commission, come 2019 elections, must allow international and local election observers, including the EU, among others, access to its situation rooms across the country to guarantee free, fair and credible poll.
“So the position of PDP is that INEC has a situation room. INEC must allow EU and all other international, as well as local observers, have access to the situation rooms to guarantee free and fair elections,” the party spokesperson said, noting that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was able to rig the recently concluded Osun governorship poll due to its (commission) refusal to allow election observers to the situation room.
He, however, assured that the PDP was poised to burst all the rigging plans by the APC in the coming polls, saying that despite all barriers put in place, the party was able to let the world know it won the last Osun poll, which was thereafter manipulated.
The PDP spokesman appealed to Nigerians not to allow themselves to be scared by the instruments of government, saying they should all come out on election days, exercise their right and also ensure that they protected their votes from being stolen.