The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has dismissed the advice by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that it should learn from former senate president, Ibrahim Mantu‘s claims on how he rigged elections for the party.
The APC had on Saturday called on the PDP to follow the example of Mr Mantu, a PDP leader, and confess to its sins against Nigerians.
In response, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement on Sunday said Mr Mantu’s reported claims are personal to him and has nothing to do with the PDP.
He said the party has never directed any of its members to rig election on its behalf at any point since its formation.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Mr Mantu had, in an interview on Channels Television, revealed that he rigged elections for the PDP.
He said even when he did not rig directly, he paid election officials and party agents to do the rigging. The former senator said he decided to confess because he felt embarrassed by the way Nigerians were treated outside the country.
“The PDP has never directed or had any pact with him (Mr Mantu) to rig election on its behalf. Never,” Mr Ologbondiyan said on Sunday.
“Individuals run their elections on the platform of political parties once they emerge as candidates. In the PDP, candidates are issued with the party’s Code of Conduct containing the basic rules of electioneering engagements.
“There is nowhere in the rules of engagement where candidates or party members are directed to rig elections on behalf of the party.
“If any member’s conduct transgressed these basic rules of engagement, that individual did not act on behalf of the PDP, and as such the party cannot be vicariously held responsible.
“It will therefore be misplaced for anybody, including the APC to surmise that Senator Mantu, in the said confession of rigging, acted on behalf of the PDP.”
Making reference to the 2007 senatorial election which Mr Mantu lost, the party questioned his rigging machinery, asking why he didn’t save himself.
“After all, in 2007, Senator Mantu lost his own senatorial election. What, then, happened to his rigging machinery, if he could not deliver himself.”
The opposition party urged the APC to manage its “incompetence, lack-lustre and wobbling” governance which, according to the PDP, has grounded the nation’s economy and brought hunger and starvation to Nigerians.