Two civil society organisations, Campaign for Democracy and the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, have urged the All Progressive Congress-led Federal Government and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to ensure the general elections in 2019 is free and fair.
They organisations said the Ekiti guber poll, which was supposed to be a litmus test for the preparedness of the electoral commission for the 2019 poll, had many loopholes.
Usman Abdul, President of the CD, said the FG must be up and doing after the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has expressed discontent at the conduct of the Ekiti poll.
”If the PDP are raising concerns about 2019, we cannot rule them out because Ekiti is a litmus test for the 2019 elections. It is a wake-up call for the INEC, and the Federal Government to be more diligent in the preparations towards 2019,” he said.
Malachi Ugwummadu, President of the CDHR, said: “Without being drawn into the muddy waters of politics, the PDP’s stance is a wake-up call to the Federal Government to do better. During the Ekiti election, the civil society deployed 75 members in the state and we observed that process and its flaws. The election shifted from the contest of ideas and ideologies to the contest of who would outspend the other.”
Meanwhile, Bolaji Abdullahi, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, has told the PDP to go and prepare for the elections rather than issue threats of a possible boycott.
“With this threat to boycott, the opposition party has betrayed a poor grasp of Nigerian political history. This is bad enough, but they should be careful not to give the impression that they don’t believe in democracy,” he said in an interview with The Punch.