PDP to petition UN over role of military in elections

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has resolved to petition the United Nations (UN) over the role played by the Nigerian military in the February 23 presidential and National Assembly elections.

The party added that other global democratic institutions will also be petitioned on the alleged unprofessional role played by the military.

Rising from an expanded caucus meeting at the party’s Abuja secretariat yesterday, the party lamented what it described as partisan role of the military in the polls.

Briefing reporters shortly after the meeting that lasted about four hours, the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan said the petition will detail what it termed unconstitutional militarisation of the elections.

This, according to the main opposition party, led to the intimidation, harassment and killing of many innocent Nigerians by soldiers in different parts of the country during the polls.

Ologbondiyan said: “Caucus further noted the role of the military in the February 23 election and resolved that we will report the action of the military through a petition to the United Nations, as well as other global democratic institutions on the role of our military  in the February 23 election.

“Caucus further raised issues about the harassment, intimidation and cajoling of our members on the plot by the Buhari Presidency as well as APC to intimidate the people’s President, former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the resolve of the PDP to go to court by insisting, blackmailing and saying that he should not go to court.

“Caucus commended Nigerians for refusing the harassment, intimidation and militarisation of the electoral process and participating in the election but noted that the mandate that was freely given to our candidate was stolen and as such the party and the candidate jointly resolved to go to the tribunal and reaching the end of what is permissible within our legal system to get back our mandate on behalf of Nigerians.

“Caucus also reviewed the situation in Kano State particularly as it concerned the court decision and noted that an appeal had been filed against the judgment and we will continue to study and follow the situation as they arise.

“On the forthcoming governorship election, we decry the militarisation of the South South and the rigging which the APC is plotting ahead of the election. We urge Nigerians to come out enmass and participate in the election and ensure they vote for the candidates of the PDP”.

The PDP said that its petition against the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari would be filed at the Election Petitions Tribunal any time soon.

Speaking earlier, the PDP national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus said the party’s resort to legal action was largely informed by what he described as overwhelming rigging of the polls by the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The party chair alleged that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were intimidated into falsifying results in favour of the APC, while soldiers were intimidating voters at the same time

Secondus said: “Nothing will make us waver in the pursuit of justice. The decision to go to court has been finalised and the process has begun.

“We will file our petition today (Monday) or tomorrow (Tuesday), no matter what anyone will do or what the APC will say. We will seek justice up to the highest court of the land.

“What happened during this election has never happened in the history of this country. They are celebrating criminality, they are celebrating evil.

“Our leaders are not talking and if you don’t speak against evil, it will consume everybody. The National Peace Committee is not saying anything.

“INEC and its ad-hoc staff were intimidated and everyone is quiet. If nothing is done, we will nosedive and go deeper and deeper in this situation we have found ourselves.

“Our lawyers have been assembled and no one can stop us. No matter the propaganda of the APC, we will seek justice with the last drop of our blood. We believe justice will be done and God Almighty will give us justice”.

Secondus lamented the alleged irregularities that trailed the presidential election, bemoaning the manner in which the military and other security agencies were allegedly deployed to  undermine the integrity of the polls.

Some of the party chieftains that attended the meeting, which was chaired by Secondus, included the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubabar; Deputy President of the Senate Ike Ekweremadu; Senator Dino Melaye and Senator Philip Aduda.

Others included a former Deputy President of the Senate Ibrahim Mantu; chairman PDP Board of Trustees, Senator Wali Jibril; a former governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada; among others.

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