United Nations have been called upon by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to prevent the ruling All Progressives Congress from rigging the 2023 general elections.
The party’s acting chairman, Umar Damagum, made the appeal while receiving a team of special representatives of the UN Secretary-General, led by the head of the UN Office in West Africa and the Sahel Region (UNOWAS), Ahmad Annadif, on Tuesday in Abuja.
Mr Damagum, PDP’s deputy national chairman (North), said the UN and international community placed importance on the conduct of 2023 polls in Nigeria.
He urged the UN to advise INEC to ensure that the elections were credible and transparent.
“We need your support to ensure that INEC is truly an election umpire. There are a lot of reforms that have taken place which will be put to test in this coming elections. We hope with the signing of the new Electoral Act, those reforms will alleviate some of our fears in the coming elections,” he said.
Mr Damagum added that the country could not afford any form of electoral violence and expressed hope that APC would imitate PDP by accepting defeat and peacefully hand over power if it did not win the 2023 general elections.
“We hope they will continue to see Nigeria as one of the uniting factors on the continent, so that we continue to lead by example. We have been doing so since the coming of democracy in 1999 and we will continue to do so,” stated the PDP chieftain. “We will continue to do our part as opposition party.”
But he told the UN representative: “You also have to continue to do your part to ensure that things are done rightly. You can do that in advisory form or any other form in which you have been doing it.”
Also at the meeting, PDP deputy national chairman (South), Taofeek Arapaja, urged the UN to sanction individuals attempting to disrupt the 2023 elections.
He urged the UN to pay keen interest on issues of vote-buying and conduct of security agents during the polls.
Mr Arapaja said the recently conducted governorship election in Ekiti was characterised by vote-buying.
“A situation where people cannot change the situation they do not like is what we do not want,” stressed Mr Arapaga.