By Ibidapo Balogun
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has warned security agencies, the Independent National Electoral Commission and all national institutions connected to Saturday’s Governorship and House of Assembly elections against compromising on their statutory roles under any circumstance, in order to provide a level-playing field for all parties to the elections.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the police, DSS, Civil Defence Corps, the military and INEC are all national institutions, hence must never again turn themselves to appendages of any political party.
It said the institutions must strictly adhere to their constitutional roles, exhibit the highest level of professionalism and shun partisanship, in the spirit of fairness and in line with global best practices.
APC said the situation in which security agencies and INEC will collude with a political party to terrorize innocent citizens and brazenly manipulate elections, as was witnessed in the past in Ekiti and Rivers State, among others, will no longer be tolerated.
”We do not seek any unfair advantage over any other party. We do not seek any favours from any organization. All we demand is that national institutions that have any role to play in the forthcoming elections must carry out their duties fairly and professionally,” the party said.
It decried the ongoing killings, maiming, harassment and intimidation of APC members and supporters in Rivers State by the police, working in cahoots with the PDP, as well as the ignoble role that was played by some INEC officials in the massive rigging of the Presidential and National Assembly elections in the state by the PDP on March 28th.
”The forthcoming Governorship and House of Assembly elections provide the first real test for our security agencies and INEC to depart from their old, unprofessional and highly partisan path and embrace professionalism and neutrality, because they will be the first elections to be held since Nigerians voted for change.
”All eyes will be watching the national institutions to see if they are ready to embrace the change that has come, in spite of them, or they will like to persist in their old, unedifying ways,” APC said.