The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on all political parties in the country as well as all other relevant stakeholders in the electoral process to abhor all narrow group interests and join hands with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to guarantee the success of the 2015 general election.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, in a statement yesterday, said all parties must come together in the interest of the nation and ensure that measures that create the environment for credible, free and fair elections are firmly put in place.
“The responsibility of building a united, strong and prosperous nation anchored on democratic principles lies on all of us collectively. We therefore charge all political parties, other relevant groups and all stakeholders in the electoral process to jettison all personal and group interests and put that of our nation and its people ahead of all.
“The future of our nation is determined by what we do or say at this point in time. We must therefore resolve to work together as patriotic citizens and join hands with INEC and relevant institutions of government to ensure credible, free and fair elections, devoid of rancour and avoidable disagreements.
“At this point, what should be paramount is the well being of our people and the survival of our dear nation and its democracy. We must therefore close ranks as brothers and sisters and resist the machinations of enemies of our country who do not wish us well.
“In this regard, we must redirect our political discourse and energies to productive issues that promote national development, reinforce our unity and engender mutual understanding and peaceful co-existence of our people. It is only through this that we can create the enabling environment for peaceful general election and guarantee the overall stability of our country.
“Nigeria is a great nation. We must appreciate the resilience of our people and their resolve to succeed. In the last four years, through the meticulous application of policies by the President Goodluck Jonathan-led PDP administration, our economy has grown to become the largest in Africa and the third fastest growing in the world, a feat that would not have been possible without the support of hard working Nigerians who have excelled in business and economy.
“Indeed, we cannot afford to fail our citizens at this time of our national life. We must work hard to continue to ensure that the environment that contributed to the successes we have recorded is adequately maintained and enhanced, ” the PDP said.
The party also called on INEC to gird it loins and appreciate the fact that it is “saddled with an enormous responsibility and that “Nigerians expect nothing less than a transparent electoral process”.
Urging INEC to “work harder and effectively use the period provided by the shift in the dates of elections to perfect all arrangements including its processes and equipment for credible election, the PDP said the commission should understand that “observations by stakeholders are not intended to castigate, weaken or destroy the electoral process but to assist in deepening democracy so that at the end of the day, Nigerians will be the ultimate winners.”
The party also urged the electoral umpire to adequately test-run its equipment in a mock election session, within two weeks, to demonstrate and ensure their practicability and reliability in the field.
While commending INEC for sacking its two officials involved in denying non-indigenes of their voters’ cards in Lagos, PDP said such practices are still going on in various parts of Lagos and other select states and urged the commission to ensure that the trend is completely checked and that all registered voters are given their PVCs to participate in the elections.
PDP also called on all registered voters to continue to show patriotism by obtaining their voters’ cards and vote for the candidates of their choice in the elections, especially recognising the need to move the nation in the path of peace, unity, tolerance, respect for the rule of law and personal freedom of all citizens.