National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has said the series of unsubstantiated allegations and misleading comments by the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) against the ruling APC constitute a major threat to the success of the 2019.
Speaking when a delegation of the ECOWAS Election Monitoring Team, led by former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf visited him, Oshiomhole said it was unfortunate that the PDP were not prepared to abide by the rules, but are instead engaged in actions capable rubbing the name of the nation and that of the Independent National Electoral Commission, in the mud.
Oshiomhole said the APC is working towards ensuring a free and fair election by ensuring that its members comport themselves as true democrats, avoiding hate speeches and sensitization of the electorate to work against rigging.
He said “As the National Chairman of the APC, we are committed to a peaceful election, but unfortunately, the opposition’s language and utterances does not suggest that they want a free and fair election. I believe, because they knew they have lost the elections, seeing the kind of support our candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari has been enjoying so far, as we have seen in our campaigns, the opposition are now in the habit of waking up and making unsubstantiated allegations just to deceive members of the International community.
“Unfortunately, you see some foreign missions believing their lies and issuing statements in support of the PDP. And, that is why some of us are worried that some persons are hiding under the guise of Election Observers to come and discredit our electoral process and also interfere in our elections and our judicial process.
“We observed that on the issue of the Chief Justice of Nigeria. This is a judicial officer who agreed that he erred when he did not declare some of his assets. And we have a situation whereby huge amount of foreign currencies were found in different accounts. And the PDP became the mouth piece of the CJN and they created a wrong impression before the International Community, and we saw joint statements condemning the action of the President, who was acting on the recommendation made by the Code of Conduct Bureau.
“Are you saying that if a crime is conducted on election day, and because it was an election day, the person concerned should not face the law? The President of America today is being investigated over allegation of alleged Russian interference in America election. So, I think all these unsubstantiated allegations are not good for the forthcoming general elections and that is why we believe that the PDP, knowing fully well that they will be rejected by the people at the polls, are trying to create crisis where there is none.”
Leader of the group, Mrs. Helen Johnson Sirleaf, said the entire world is interested in ensuring a peaceful election in Nigeria, “because Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, and anything that happens to Nigerian will not only affect the entire Africa, but the world. So, we are appealing to all the parties to preach peace and urge their supporters to pick their PVCs, so that nobody will be disenfranchised.”
Also, in a separate statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the party said the act of intimidating and blackmailing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other state institutions will not stop their impending defeat.
The APC frown at what it described failed the attempt to demonise the APC, President Muhammadu Buhari administration and deploying intimidation and blackmail tactics against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other state institutions ahead of the general election.
Onilu said the PDP’s line of attack cannot affect President Buhari’s emphatic victory in the February 16 election, saying “We have watched how panicky leaders of the PDP have become, having realised that they are heading for a crushing and humiliating defeat in the forthcoming general election.
“In their confused and pitiable state, they have unconscionably hurled pedestrian allegations of partisanship and partiality against INEC and other state institutions.
“The PDP leaders’ strategy is to regularly call out INEC and allege partiality towards the APC, thereby creating doubts in the minds of Nigerians and international community about the independence and credibility of the electoral body.
“This is one of the odious antics of a desperate party that wants to hijack presidential power, not on the strength of having a credible alternative, but on the strength of selfish propaganda with which they mask their real motivation for seeking a return to power — plundering of the public treasury.
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“We call on Nigerians to judge between the APC and the PDP, who can be said to have been favoured by INEC when one considers how the electoral body had initially barred the APC from fielding candidates in Zamfara and Rivers States in the forthcoming elections.
“Less than two weeks to elections, our party is still in courts to seek justice from INEC to enable us field candidates. Notwithstanding our protests, calling INEC’s attention to the fact that the PDP didn’t conduct any primaries in Kano State, the electoral body has opted to look the other way even in the face of glaring evidence.
“It is clear that the PDP is only interested in getting to power on a stolen mandate. It was not surprising that the PDP celebrated INEC’s initial decisions on Zamafara and Rivers because the PDP knows they stand no chance against the APC candidates in a free and fair election.”
The APC also expressed shock over PDP’s allegation that the distribution of Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) is being hampered by INEC to disenfranchise supposed PDP supporters, saying “how could anyone have known the political party affiliations of those who are yet to collect their PVCs such that the process of disenfranchising them was activated by INEC to favour the APC.
“The PDP and its leaders cannot hold the APC responsible for their electoral misfortunes. PDP administration’s antecedents of treasury looting, mismanagement of the economy and widespread insecurity have put a big wedge between them and the Nigerian people.
“There is no doubt that the PDP will be roundly rejected at the forthcoming general election. On our part, we are confident that Nigerians will renew our mandate on the basis of our verifiable and multi-sector record of performance under the leadership of President Buhari.”