Governors Forum of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have berated the Department of State Service, DSS, for meddling with the election tribunals in some states controlled by the opposition party.
In a communiqué issued in Abuja by the Forum and signed by its Chairman and Ogun State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko at the end of the fourth post-election meeting, the governors noted that it is only in states won by PDP that the DSS is interfering with the election tribunals and intimidating officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The communiqué reads: “The Forum condemns in very strong terms the alleged worrisome meddlesomeness of the Department of State Services in election tribunal matters, especially in Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Abia states. It is against the spirit, ethos, values and fundamental tenets of democratic norms and tradition; more so with the existence of the Electoral Act and the Constitution.
“The forum is worried, alarmed and shocked by this development. A situation where officials of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in these three states, (all PDP states) are daily being arrested, detained and questioned on election-related offences, even when the cases are ongoing at the tribunals, spells doom and poses imminent danger to our democracy.
“The alleged interference is an attempt to stifle the opposition and this is most unacceptable. We insist that the trend be reversed. No democracy survives without a viable opposition in any part of the world.
“INEC is supposed to be an independent commission and its officials ought to be shielded from partisanship, especially at a time when the dust raised by the alleged APC membership of the DG of the SSS, Mr. Lawal Musa Daura, is yet to settle.
“There were clear cases of under-aged voters in some states and we wonder why the DSS did not investigate a single person or made any arrest. Even in a clear case where money paid was traced to the bank account of a State Resident Electoral Commissioner, the DSS is yet to order investigation into the matter,” they alleged.
The governors advised the DSS to pre-occupy itself with the task of ensuring internal security and not involve itself in electoral matters.

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