EU election observer interacts with PDP Plateau chapter

Plateau PDP State Campaign Council Media and Publicity Committee


A three member Observer mission of the European Union has visited the State secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party and interacted with the Chairman of the party Honourable Damishi T. Sango and some officials. It happened on Tuesday January 29, 2019 just as the State Campaign Council was also having its own meeting in the office of the Chairman. 

The team was led by two Long Term Observers,  Petar Bahchevanov and Dovile Stoskeviciute with Rwang Pam Junior serving as Team Assistant. 

Mr Bahchevanov informed Hon. Sango that the European Union Election Observation Mission to Nigeria is made up of 20 teams and is bipartisan. 

They will observe Nigeria's 2019 elections and file in reports from the fields to their superior experts. 

Mr Bahchevanov said his team in particular is covering Plateau and Nasarawa States. The observations will be based on international standards.

He wanted to know from the PDP Chairman any concerns the party has about campaigns, the mass media, the electoral umpire, the eventual voting process as well as any matters of concern the party may have on the election.

In response, Hon Sango, who is also the State Campaign Council Chairman welcomed the Observation Mission and said their visit was timely. 

He said PDP as the largest and strongest opposition party in the state is sure of winning the 2019 election at all levels in Plateau State. 

He briefed the Mission on the many electioneering activities already concluded and those also being undertaken by the PDP to educate and enlighten party members and supporters on the upcoming election. 

He however expressed doubts about the sincerity of the governing authorities to allow INEC to conduct free and fair elections. He gave the local government election in Plateau in which results were announced by the election umpire PLASIEC even when collation of results was ongoing as an example of crass bias and ignoble interference. 

He fears that what happened in Plateau may be a mock rehearsal of what to expect in the general elections since it is the same APC that is ruling both at the federal and state levels.  

Hon Sango also complained about the government's control of the public mass media in which opposition parties like the PDP are denied access by the Plateau Radio Television Corporation - a state-owned broadcaster. 

The party has also pointed to the intolerant posture of APC which has allowed its members to gleefully destroy, deface and uproot PDP posters and Billboards in different parts of the State as well as intimidate party members.

He said PDP is however carefully selecting and training its agents, while party leaders and supporters are being motivated to remain vigilant and resolute in their areas of responsibility to thwart any rigging plans. 

Hon Sango has also expressed concern about widespread reports that the APC is desperately working and testing various schemes to buy votes. It fears too that INEC may not send sufficient voting materials to areas it perceives are strongholds of the PDP.

He promised that even though the party will remain vigilant and challenge any electoral infringements, it will not let its members engage in violent campaigns.

However, Hon Sango asserted that PDP will not allow the APC to get away with its election rigging. 

The European Union Election Observation Mission to Nigeria's 2019 election hopes to return to the State PDP for further interactions and  updating on issues concerning the polls. 

Yiljap Abraham
Media and Publicity Committee