The PDP has denied the allegation, saying the “guilty are afraid”
The All Progressives Congress, APC, on Sunday, said it has uncovered a grand plot by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the presidency, to rig the 2015 general elections, especially the presidential poll, and also destabilize the country.
In a statement issued in Lagos, on Sunday, by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, APC said a multifaceted strategy that was being employed by the PDP and the presidency in a desperation to win the 2015 general elections at all cost, include the suppression of votes in areas where the president’s chances were slim, using police and the military.
But in a swift reaction, the PDP dismissed the claim, saying the APC was not only distracting the party and the president, who were focussed on the development of the country, adding that the opposition party was merely accusing it of what it was planning to destabilize the country.
According to the APC, the PDP and the presidency planned to use what they have tagged “a Third Force” to deceive Nigerians and project the image of a performing presidency, even when they admit that the current public perception of government was less than salutary because of its weakness and lack of vision.
The opposition party further alleged that the ruling party and the Presidency planned to engage in destabilization it (APC), using moles and fifth columnist, instigate chaos in the South-West geo-political zone, using what they called the ”Old Afenifere Guards” as well as infiltrate and weaken socio-cultural and socio-political organizations in areas they deemed to be unfavourable to the president.
The party claimed that the PDP and the Presidency’s grand plot also did not exclude even the PDP itself, as they were pursuing a strategy of decisively and ruthlessly purging from the ranks of the party’s inner decision-making caucus all recalcitrant members, including governors and House of Representatives members.
”The dogged pursuit of this action of dealing with supposed recalcitrant members has led to suspensions, expulsions and alienation of some PDP members, and it was the immediate trigger of the collapse of the party of tattered umbrella. ”After all, it is said that a house divided against itself cannot stand,” APC said.
Elaborating on the plot, the opposition party said the North-East and the North-West geo-political zones had been singled out as areas where votes must be suppressed in 2015, by creating an environment for the deployment of ”special forces” in the run-up to the 2015 elections.
“Simply put, they intend to launch police/military actions in the run-up to 2015, to ensure most of the registered voters in the zones are disenfranchised.
”The reason these two geo-political zones have been singled out for ‘vote suppression’ is because of what the PDP/Presidency called the ‘voting demographics’ in the zones in 2011.
“The North West had 18,900, 54 registered voters in 2011 while the North-East had 10,038,119. By contrast, the president’s ‘safe support base’ of South-South and South-East had 8,937,057 and 7,028,560 respectively, the total of which was less than that of the North-West alone!
”The PDP/Presidency therefore believe that unless the votes in these two zones are suppressed, and those of the South-West (14,298,356) stifled one way or the other, the chances of the President winning re-election are very poor. Needless to say that these three zones (NE, NW and SW) are considered to be hostile to the President, hence must be tamed,” APC said.
On what it called the Third Force, APC alleged that it would involve rail-roading unsuspecting credible and independent-minded Nigerians with deep knowledge of, and extensive penetration of the media, civil society, labour, youth, women and ethnic nationalities into the plan, in which they will be given scripts written by the government and sent out to inundate the airwaves and the print media, posing as experts and public analysts to peddle lies and reel out statistics that have no bearing on the standard of living of the average Nigerian.
The party noted that perhaps the most dangerous aspect of the plot is the determined attempt by the PDP and the Presidency to constrict the democratic space by moving against the main opposition party which they regard as a ”real threat” to the President if it (party) does not implode or forced to break up before 2015.
It added, “The strategy to achieve this is multi-pronged: The PDP/Presidency will use those they called fifth columnists, disillusioned party members and ‘deep cover plants’ to fracture the APC; play up clash of ambitions among its leaders, as well as create and empower a new anti-APC political force in the South-West, comprising the old Afenifere guards whom they described as spent and disillusioned forces, but who can be manipulated to achieve the desired objective of neutralizing the APC, and to revive some dormant political forces.
APC said while it was not bothered by the desperation of the PDP/Presidency to engage in unfair and foul means to win elections, it is astounded that a democratically-elected President will resort to actions that are far from democratic just to retain power at all cost.
”The PDP/Presidency should know that no power in the world can stop an idea whose time has come. For Nigeria, this is the time for change, and change will come in spite of the shenanigans of the devilish duo. Our hope is that these desperadoes do not destroy the country in their rabid ambition,” the party said.
The party called on Nigerians “to be vigilant in the days, weeks and months ahead as the PDP and Presidency begin to roll out their grand plot.”
However, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Jalo Ibrahim debunked the allegations, saying the opposition party was the one planning to rig the polls and destabilize the nation.
“It is not true. The APC is overheating the polity; they are prophets of doom. Instead of focussing on development, they are talking about rigging of elections. This is a case of ‘the guilty are afraid’. It is what they have made up their minds to do that they are accusing PDP of doing,” Mr Ibrahim told PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview on Sunday.
The PDP spokesman said President Goodluck Jonathan was busy trying the fix the nation, including the providing efficient power supply and would not have the times to waste on election rigging as claimed by the APC.
Mr Ibrahim said, “Jonathan is busy trying to see that the issue of electricity supply is tackled. He is trying to see that those companies that bid for the power formation start working in October, and so he will not waste his time thinking of election rigging.
“As far as PDP is concerned, APC is like ACN before the amalgamation. The marriage has not been tested. Let them solve their internal problems. PDP is mindful of pushing the country forward in terms of development.
PDP is not afraid to go into electoral contest let alone, doing so with APC which comprises politicians who are not prepared to move the country forward. We were with some of them in PDP – people like Nasir el-Rufai. You know how Gani Fawehinmi tried to prosecute Bola Tinubu over his certificate scandal.
“So, APC should go and give Nigerians their programme and line of action. We are not distracted by what they are doing. We will continue with what we are doing to move this country forward. The focus of the president to move the country forward is very solid. Mr President is a democrat. I know him right from the days he was deputy governor. He is patient and does not habour ill-feeling against anybody.”