The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that it will not accept any questionable harvest of votes for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 election.
PDP also charged President Muhammadu Buhari to keep to his word of ensuring that the 2023 elections are free, fair, transparent and credible.
National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu who gave the warning in Abuja, on Friday while commissioning the party’s Peoples Democratic Institute (PDI) also cautioned the Presidency and the APC not to intimidate INEC or its functionaries in any way.
On the importance of the institute, Ayu said no society develops by fiat, adding: “It comes about by the rigorous work of carefully studying situations and analyzing them before evolving and implementing sustainable solutions. That was the idea that birthed the PDI on 31st August 2000.”
PDP National Chairman said the PDI will be a think tank for the party for rigorous intellectual work of research, socio-economic analysis, policy development, training and capacity building of political actors, and the strengthening of our democratic institutions and culture.
Ayu said unlike the APC, PDP was not hurriedly conceived as a propaganda machine just to access power, saying “it came to power with a mission”.
He continued: “We understood that democracy is not a one-man show, something to be run on adhoc arrangements; democracy is about mass participation, shared ideas and shared prosperity.
PDI is, therefore, the party’s tool for generating ideas, thoroughly researching them and rigorously analyzing development options/policies for good governance and National development.”
He said further: “It’s regretful that after more than a decade of eventful activities, the institute lost its accommodation in Wuse II, and had to be located in a portacabin at the party’s national headquarters. Today, however, marks another turning point in our party’s fortunes. The deliberate actions of the current NWC have revived hope for the survival of the institute. It is now comfortably accommodated in this structure which has been rented, renovated, furnished and equipped for PDI to effectively re-engage the purpose for which it was established.”
According to him: “The party is again preparing itself adequately and shall hit the ground running, when, by the grace of God and the votes of Nigerians, PDP returns to power next year.
“While the others are utterly confused about how, where or when to even begin their campaigns, PDP is already preparing for governance. Our Presidential candidate, His Excellency Atiku Abubakar, has already exhibited his intellectual preparedness in his publications that are already in the public space for everyone to access and scrutinize.
He further avowed that it is not “an accident of history” that he commissioned the institute at its inauguration in 2000 and is today, recommissioning it in preparation for the task ahead starting from May 29, 2023.
“PDP will not waste six months in the Presidential Villa thinking of what to do with power. Although the party has a robust package for making Nigeria workable again, the Institute has been revamped and repositioned to provide research data that will help President Atiku to unlock our national potential, secure the country, energize our productive sectors, stimulate wealth creation, empower youths and women, create jobs, revitalize agriculture, stabilize the educational sector and, altogether, be an alert and effective commander-in-chief,” he stated.
While stating emphatically that PDP’s focus remains on retaking power from the ruling APC next February, he stressed: “The party maintains that we will not accept the questionable harvests of votes from inaccessible areas as happened in previous elections under the APC.”
He stated: “We renew our call on the international community, especially the US, European Union, the Commonwealth and the African Union to sustain their interest in the democratic project in Nigeria through diplomatic pressures, political contacts and large, high-calibre observer missions.”