The Peoples’ Democartic Party (PDP) have hit back at Alhaji Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the Governor of Kano State for saying that elections in Rivers State and the South-South geopolitical zone are abnormal.
In a statement via Prince Dayo Adeyeye, it’s National Publicity Secretary, the party hit back saying the Governor’s comments were ‘unfortunate, ridiculous, absurd and highly unbecoming of a Governor’.
The PDP also said it was seeing Ganduje’s comments as a ‘veiled threat’, insinuating that the elections will be manipulated to suit the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their desire to win at all cost.
Below is the full statement;
Our attention has been drawn to an unfortunate and ridiculous statement credited to the Governor of Kano State and Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Rivers State Re-Run Election Campaign Committee, H. E. Alhaji Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, wherein he says having a free and fair elections in Rivers State is abnormal and in fact that free and fair elections in the South-South Region of the Country is abnormal.
2. Nigerians will recall that the Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Umar Ganduje while answering questions from State House Correspondents in Abuja on Friday, December 2, 2016 on the preparation of his Party, the APC towards the Re-run Elections in Rivers State said, “You know in that part of the Country having free and fair elections is not normal and we have to make it normal this time”. The Governor also boasted that the APC led Federal Government will deploy massive securities for the Rivers Re-Run.
3. This statement coming from the Governor is not only unfortunate, it is ridiculous and absurd to say the least. It is highly unbecoming of a Governor to make such an unguided statement that denigrate the people of the whole State and the South-South Region in general.
4. The Statement is also a veil threat that the coming election in Rivers State will be manipulated as usual by the APC using the INEC and the security apparatus of State. If free and fair Elections have been “abnormal” in the Region according to the Governor, it is due to the manipulation and the win-at-all-cost attitude of the APC.
This desperation of the APC to win at all cost was exposed by the recent decision of the Court of Appeal which upturned the Re-Run Election in Opobo/Nkoro State Constituency of Rivers State in favour of our Candidate, Mr. Diri Adonye; wherein the Appeal Court emphatically stated that the Election was massively rigged. Nigerians can now see who has been manipulating elections and causing the State of abnormality in the Region.
5. Alhaji Ganduje’s statement is also an indictment on INEC because the Governor is saying in effect that INEC has never conducted a free and fair election in the Region and INEC should respond immediately to defend its own integrity.
6. We are therefore calling on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to demonstrate its independence by ensuring that the forthcoming election in Rivers State is free, fair and credible. The Electoral umpire since the inception of this APC Administration has been wobbling from ‘Inconclusive Elections’ to ‘Advanced Rigging’ and we wish to urge INEC to graduate from this ‘macabre dance’ to conducting free and fair elections in order to regain the confidence and trust of Nigerians and the international community as a neutral and an unbiased umpire that it is supposed to be.
7. We also call on Security Agencies in Nigeria to continue to maintain their Constitutional role and duty of protecting lives and properties in the Country and maintaining law and order during elections.
In addition, we demand that Governor Ganduje of Kano State tender an unreserved apology to the good people of Rivers State and the South-South Region in general for this humiliating and undignified statement.
8. Finally, we call on all our members, teeming supporters and the electorates in Rivers State to come out enmass on Saturday, the 10th of December 2016 to cast their votes in the remaining Re-Run Elections in favour of the Candidates of our Party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Rivers State is home of the PDP and we are sure of victory in all the Re-Run Elections.
God bless Rivers State! God bless Nigeria!!
Prince Dayo Adeyeye
National Publicity Secretary