The Spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential campaign council, Charles Aniagwu says the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) were scared of INEC’s decision to deploy Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) as the device would expose the party to ridicule following their abysmal performance since 2015.
Speaking on Focus Nigeria on AIT, yesterday, Aniagwu said the APC fought very hard to ensure that the law backing deployment of technology in electoral process was not passed in the National Assembly.
According to him, “the PDP is very much disposed to the use of BVAS and can never be part of those planning to bring down the INEC Chairman because we believe that he is doing his best to improve on our electoral process”.
“The APC candidate and their members were not comfortable with the use of BVAS and you will recall when the National Assembly was debating on the Electronic Transfer of Result, the Deputy President of the Senate who is governorship candidate of the APC in Delta, Ovie Omo-Agege and many others vehemently opposed that particular innovation and that is to tell you that the APC are not too comfortable with the BVAS.
“BVAS is going to be a game changer and as a party we are very confident that we will win through normal voting and we are hopeful that the votes of Nigerians will count.
“The INEC Chairman and his team have done so well, they may have their pitfalls as human beings but one can rate them far above average on the reforms they have brought to bear on our electoral system.
“And to a large extent I want to believe that they have been quite neutral in the electoral process we are having at the moment,” he said.
While reacting to the alarm raised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that the 2023 general elections might be postponed as a result of the insecurity challenges across the country, Aniagwu said “INEC is raising those issues with a view to getting the authorities to strengthen the security agencies and I’m very happy that the president yesterday did give an assurance that we need to have confidence in our security agencies.
“The president also assured he would see through a very credible electoral process and so far, from his comments and actions, I want to believe that he is very much committed to that process.
“You saw what happened in Osun, it’s adjudged to be a very credible electoral process. That could be one of the credits that you could ascribe to the president. No matter the many other pitfalls we have seen in this administration, in terms of improvements in the electoral process, Muhammadu Buhari could be adjudged to have done quite well in his desire to leave behind a credible electoral process.
“And so if INEC is raising that issue, it is not misplaced because there are a lot of security threats in a number of places. You’ve seen some of the INEC offices burnt down in some places in the Southeast and then a few other attempts in the Southwest.
“We do hope that the security agencies will beef up security around these institutions and police all the length and breadth of this country for the purpose of getting Nigerians to have the confidence to turn out on election day and for INEC to also have the confidence to deploy both sensitive and non sensitive materials on election day. So it’s not out of place that INEC raised the alarm.”
On why President Buhari was not disposed to campaigning for APC Presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, Aniagwu who is also Commissioner for information in Delta, said the president had no confidence in the ability of Tinubu to turn things around for the country.
“What Buhari saw during the primaries of the APC, the governors failed to see it and it was quite clear the president wasn’t comfortable handing over to Tinubu given his level of integrity.
“Buhari may not have done so well for the nation given where we are now, but there are certain things you can’t take away from him.
“He is a man reputed not to be a thief and he is a man reputed to be a great patriot but for the fact that his administration did not perform up to expectations is largely because of his ability which he has also acknowledged that he did his best which obviously was not good enough.
“So when you saw him in Adamawa asking the electorate to vote candidates with integrity and he failed to mention the name of the party’ presidential candidate, it clearly shows that the man does not wish that Tinubu wins the Presidency.
“Buhari is not campaigning for Tinubu because he knows that he doesn’t have what it takes to turn things around for this country,” he added.
Aniagwu further said that Atiku Abubakar’s visit to London was in line with the party’s quest to build a global economy that will have the buy-in of the international community.