• Thursday, May 30, 2024
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We need Ondo to believe in free, fair election – PDP


The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has said it was still not convinced that President Muhammadu Buhari administration was committed to a free and fair election, despite winning the Edo governorship election.

Governor Godwin Obaseki of the PDP had defeated Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the candidate of the president’s party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 19 election.

Buhari, during Obaseki’s courtesy visit, had expressed his commitment to free and fair elections, describing it as “the bedrock of true democratic order.”

According to him, “Democracy will mean nothing if the votes of the people don’t count or if their mandate is fraudulently tampered with.”

But the opposition party maintained that Ondo governorship election would confirm the President’s commitment and not the concluded Edo election.

In an exclusive interview with our correspondent on Sunday, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan said Nigerians would only take the President seriously if followed by the federal agencies in the Ondo election.

“The commitment of the President to a free and fair election will be dependent on the outcome of the Ondo governorship election. That will also determine the sincerity of the statement he made during the visit of Governor Godwin Obaseki.

“That will determine his commitment to his statements that he is the president of all Nigerians. That the political parties and candidates should go and seek the votes of the electorate, and that the candidate with the support of the people should win the election.”

Ologbondiyan said the PDP was sure of victory if there was no rigging and manipulation by the Independent National Electoral Commission and the security agencies.

“From what the President Muhammadu Buhari said, if he would not go back on his words and he would not give instructions to the police and other security agencies and that he would not compel INEC to manipulate the election, then it is certain that we are coasting home to victory.

“As Nigerians know today, the APC has not done well either at federal or state level. Nigerians have become distraught with this government and it is even worse in Ondo State where Governor (Rotimi) Akeredolu for the past four years have engaged in a self-serving administration. The people are at the receiving end of pain, suffering and hunger.

‘For us to confirm this, it is the Ondo election that will prove that because that is the next election. So what he does in Edo and Ondo will determine the faith Nigerians will have in the electoral process.”