The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure a free, fair and credible governorship election on September 19 in Edo State.
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike also made as similar call, vowing that the PDP would not succumb to intimidation at the polls.
Secondus spoke yesterday at the Abuja national secretariat of the PDP while inaugurating the party’s National Campaign Council for the Edo election.
“We call on President Buhari to rise to the challenge of leadership confronting our dear country and defend its unity by conducting a free, fair and credible election in Edo State,” Secondus said.
Cautioning the government against using the military and other security agencies to subvert the will of the voters, he urged respect for electoral rules.
Secondus said: “By conducting free and fair election in Edo, the President will not only be stabilising the country politically, but will also be averting an impending doom that can make the doomsday prediction about Nigeria’s disintegration come true, God forbid.”
The national chairman noted that the growing tension in Edo State would be needless if the All Progressives Congress (APC) was willing and equipped to face the electorate.
“But where it’s obvious that they have nothing to offer to get the votes of Nigerians, they are resorting to devious means to undermine the democratic process.
“At this juncture, let me warn that APC may be standing on the excitement of its previously rigged elections in Osun, Ekiti, Kano and Kogi states and may think that their victories at the tribunals legitimitise their underhand acts. But they forget to consider the anger of God and that of the people against evil doers who refuse to change.”
Secondus enjoined Nigerians and lovers of democracy, particularly in Edo State, to rise and defend their votes.
Wike said the PDP will win the election, noting that the party lost Edo in 2016 because it fielded Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as its candidate.
Wike said: “In 2016, we never knew the candidate (Ize-Iyamu) had a lot of problems. That was why the people of Edo State listened to Oshiomhole at that time. You can see a party that has no principle.”
Wike slammed his Kano State counterpart, Abdullahi Ganduje, for threatening to put him (the Rivers governor) in isolation before the election. Wike is the chairman of the PDP campaign council for Edo State governorship election.
Saying that he did not take Governor Ganduje’s threat lightly, Wike expressed fears that the Edo election could be tampered with, going by Ganduje’s statements.
He said: “But let us understand the statement made by Ganduje; don’t look at it ordinarily. What Ganduje said is that they have concluded with security agencies to make sure that the people of Edo State do not protect and defend their votes; that they will not allow them to come out and before you know it, they will announce the result.
“Nobody can intimidate us in this election. Yesterday, I was told and today I read on the pages of newspapers that Governor Ganduje said he was going to isolate me until the election is over. If Nigeria is supposed to be a country, who is supposed to be isolated?
“A man who pockets dollars in his babanriga from contractors is not isolated and you say that I should be isolated. Where are we heading to?
“Let me tell you why they made Ganduje the chairman of the campaign council of the APC. It’s because of the dollars they saw. But for dollars, Ganduje could not have been made the chairman of the campaign council.
“But what he doesn’t understand is that we from the Niger Delta, we shall chop his dollars and we will chop him into coma. So Ganduje, your dollar will not work in Edo State, we have integrity in our party.”
He cautioned the security agencies against any attempt to rig the Edo election, saying the people have already resolved to vote for the PDP.
A number of past and serving governors, party leaders and National Assembly members were present at the inauguration of the 93-member campaign council.