2019: PDP Govs Pass No Confidence Vote On INEC …Fixes Presidential Primary Oct 15, Guber 27 Sept …Party’s BoT Guns For Consensus Presidential Candidate …As APC Adopts Buhari Sole Candidate

Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike (3rd left),with his Deputy, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo (3rd right), former NBA President, Chief Onueze Okocha (2nd right), Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Adama Iyaye-Laminkanra (2nd left) and others, during a condolence visit to Governor Wike over the death of the Attorney- General of Rivers State at Government House, Port Harcourt, last Monday.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum, yesterday, passed a vote of no confidence on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), questioning its readiness to conduct credible elections in 2019.
The forum also condemned the Federal Government’s alleged use of security operatives for political ends and the refusal by President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Electoral Amendment Bill.
“INEC needs to reinvent itself as a truly independent umpire of the electoral process in the country. For now, we have no confidence in INEC. The commission has conducted itself as a tool of the APC-led Federal Government, especially with the roles of the chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, and a National Commissioner, Mrs. Amina Zakari,” the forum said in a statement by its Chairman, Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose.
The governors denounced “in strong terms the politicisation of security agencies by the Federal Government. We observe that security agencies have become organs and tools of the APC-led Federal Government to harass and intimidate the opposition and dissenting voices.”
They decried the use of security agencies for the alleged perpetration of electoral fraud in Ekiti, Osun and Rivers states, and urged personnel to be non-partisan in the performance of their duties.
The forum also criticised “the flagrant violation of democratic ethos by operatives of this government as shown recently in the infamous act by the police at the residence of elder statesman, Pa Edwin Clark, and the harassment of innocent Nigerians on frivolous claims.”
The governors described as unacceptable an alleged “surreptitious, selective and suspicious payment of N16billion purportedly from the Paris Club Refund. We are of the view that the money is to fund corrupt inducement of voters in the forthcoming governorship election in Osun State on September 22, 2018.”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday said its presidential primary election and National Convention will still hold between Friday October 5 and Saturday, October 6, 2018 as earlier scheduled.
In the same vein, the party’s governorship primary will hold across the states of the federation on Wednesday, September 26, 2018.
A statement by the party yesterday said the governorship primary will be followed by senatorial primary on Friday, September 28, while House of Representatives primary will hold on Sunday, September 30, 2018.
The party had also approved Tuesday October 2, 2018 for House of Assembly primary across the states of the federation.
The party said the clarification was sequel to “inquiries from the public and vast majority of Nigerians who are now rallying on the platform of our repositioned PDP to vote out the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) and return our nation to the path of national cohesion and economic prosperity, come 2019.”
Also, the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) disclosed that a committee has been set up to liaise with all the party’s presidential aspirants to produce a consensus candidate.
The BoT Chairman, Walid Jibrin, said the decision was reached during a recent meeting.
In another development, National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Maimala Buni yesterday said that President Muhammadu Buhari is the sole candidate of the party for 2019 Presidential election.
But the APC scribe also said that interested party members in the presidential position were free to pick the nomination form but the National Executive Council, NEC, of the party has already endorsed the President.
He stated this while fielding questions from State House correspondents after a group under the auspices of National Consolidation Ambassadors Network, NCAN, presented Expression of Interest, Nomination Form for the 2019 election to the President at the New Banquet Hall Presidential Villa Abuja.
The APC National Secretary flanked by the Chairman Buhari’s Campaign Media Committee, Festus Keyamo, SAN, said the NEC of the party had since endorsed the President and by extension, all members of the party have done so.
He said, “Once the National executive Committee NEC of the party passes a vote of confidence on the President, that President stands accepted because the NEC is the highest organ of the party and it met to take the decision, where every interest was represented so the National Executive Committee of the APC has passed a vote of confidence on our President and that means every APC member has endorsed him.”
The APC Secretary said Nigeria’s case was not exceptional because the same scenario obtains in advanced democracies. “In advance democracy, once the NEC of a party passes vote of confidence on the President, nobody contest against the President.
The President has been accepted.” He said that the President will be given the choice of first refusal and that as he had accepted the nomination form it meant that he was the party’s candidate in next year’s election.