The Peoples Democratic Party has accused President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress, of arm twisting security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission to rig Saturday’s polls.
The party levelled the accusation at a news conference on Wednesday, addressed by its National Publicity Secretary and Director, Media and Publicity, PDP Presidential Campaign Organization, Kola Ologbondiyan.
The text of the statement of the press conference reads: “Gentlemen of the press, after the widely condemned rigging machinations by the Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress that frustrated our electoral process and led to the painful postponement of the February 16 Presidential election, the fear stricken Buhari Presidency has launched a more ferocious plot with INEC and security agencies to ambush the rescheduled elections and foist General Muhammadu Buhari on our nation.
“But we want to assure them that their evil plots will come to naught.
“Since the postponement, the Buhari Presidency and APC have been breathing down on the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, in a desperate and feverish bid to consolidate their control of the operations of the commission and execute its rigging plot.
“At a meeting held in Buhari Presidency/APC situation room in the Presidential Villa last night, where Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, the Managing Director of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mustapha Boss, among others, were in attendance, Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) were directed to issue out result sheets to APC agents to falsify and declare results in favour of the APC.
“Intelligence at our disposal reveals that the INEC Chairman has succumbed to back channel bullying by the Buhari Presidency and APC to accede to their demand to replace Electoral Officers (EOs) in various critical states with APC agents who will vehemently execute President Buhari’s rigging plans in the February 23, Presidential election.
“Also our party has full details of how the Department of State Services (DSS) has been interfering with operations of critical departments of INEC, including the ICT department, to do APC bidding.
“The PDP also has details of the meeting last night by President Buhari, some APC northern governor and Service Chiefs last night, whereupon pressure was mounted on the Service Chiefs in connection with the APC rigging plans.
“We alert Nigerians that the INEC Chairman has been intimidated with threat of ‘Onnoghen’s treatment’ to accept a list of APC members and agents and post them to serve as EOs in various states including Kano, Kaduna, Rivers, Bauchi, Akwa-Ibom, Zamfara, Benue, Sokoto, Lagos, Plateau, Taraba, Borno, Adamawa, Kogi, Delta, Ebonyi among others.
“These APC EOs have been briefed to ensure the diversion of sensitive electoral materials from designated polling centers, delay the accreditation process, so as to frustrate voters’ enthusiasm, compromise the collation process to allocate and announce fictitious results for President Buhari and muddle up the process to pave way for result cancellation where it becomes impossible to rig for President Buhari.
“The PDP stands with Nigerians in directly rejecting this latest arm-twisting of security agencies as well as the nefarious plots to use APC members as INEC Election Officers.
“It is now clearer that the election day killing order issued by President Buhari is designed to clamp-down and even kill patriotic Nigerians who will want to confront and stop the APC from executing their rigging plots on the day of election.
“However, the PDP, in clear terms, assures INEC, compromised security agents and President Buhari that their evil plans will definitely come to naught. Nigerians are now, more than ever before, determined in rallying with our party, to confront, resist and stop President Buhari and the APC on their trail to rig the February 23 election.
“Nigerians in their millions, across the 176,000 polling units and voting points, have been placed on readiness for this election and nobody can rig them out.
“Let it be known that there is no way APC members will be allowed to act as INEC or fake security officers in this election. The vehement public resistance that greeted INEC’s attempt to replace already trained ad-hoc staff with APC agents in some states last Friday is a direct warning to INEC.
“The PDP therefore cautions INEC to immediately end its back channel links and disentangle itself from the Buhari Presidency or risk being on collusion course with the Nigerian people.
“Nigerians have made huge sacrifices for a free, fair, credible and transparent election to vote out President Buhari on Saturday. They will, as such, spare no thought in ensuring that anybody recruited by the enemies of democracy to rig the election will be resisted.
“A word is enough for the wise!”