The All Progressives Congress has said there is a plot by President Jonathan Goodluck and the ruling Peoples Democracy Party to scuttle Nigeria’s democracy.
The party also demanded a probe into a leaked audio, detailing how the Ekiti governorship election was rigged by PDP officials and the Nigerian military.
The Publicity Secretary of the opposition party, Lai Mohammed, made the allegation in Lagos while addressing a press conference on Tuesday.
The party made the allegation against the background of the leaked secretly recorded audio of top officials of the Federal Government, PDP and 32 Artillery Brigade; and the “use” of the Military to effect postponement of the general elections earlier scheduled for February.
The audio leaked by Sagir Koli, a Captain and Intelligence Officer of the 32 Artillery Brigade, Akure, Ondo State, exposed how top officials the Federal Government and the PDP, including former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, Police Affairs Minister, Jelili Adesiyan, Osun State PDP chieftain Iyiola Omisore, then PDP Governorship Candidate for Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, and Brigade Commander Brig.-Gen. Aliyu Momoh, of 32 Artillery Brigade Akure, Ondo State, plotted the rigging of the June 21 Ekiti governorship election which PDP eventually won.
While Mr. Obanikoro said a voice software was used to simulate his voice, Police Affairs Minister, Mr. Adesiyan admitted the meeting indeed took place.
“We will also like to alert Nigerians to the fact that the Jonathan Administration and the PDP have perfected the plot to again use the military to thwart the aspirations of Nigerians for a change that will usher in a purposeful government,” APC said.
“Already, the Social Media is alight with information that the military is meeting in Kaduna with a view to working out the modalities to help the PDP at the polls. This sends the wrong signal to the polity as well as the international community about the role of the military in Nigeria’s elections,” the party added.
As first step, the APC said heavily armed soldiers had been deployed to intimidate the opposition, stressing that the party’s national leader, Bola Tinubu’s Lagos residence had been besieged.
It said the Presidency and PDP would continue to abuse the military, which had “been used to postpone the elections by six weeks”.
“The PDP and the Jonathan Administration have left no one in doubt that they will again abuse the military and use soldiers to rig the forthcoming elections, in spite of the ruling by a Federal High Court in Sokoto that it is unconstitutional to deploy the military to monitor or provide security during elections. The court also ordered that such deployment must stop. To the best of our knowledge, the Federal Government has not appealed that ruling.
“It is interesting to note that the PDP, which considers itself above the laws of the land, has now vowed to again use soldiers for election duty. According to the Director-General of the Jonathan/Sambo Campaign Organization, Ahmadu Ali, more military personnel ”are needed to be on ground to forestall any breakdown of law and order as well as to prevent political miscreants from tarnishing the electoral process”. What he meant, perhaps, is that soldiers are needed to rig the elections in favour of his lawless party,” the party said.
APC also demanded that the National Assembly investigate the role of the military in the last Ekiti governorship election.
“We urge the National Assembly to launch a probe of the role that the military played in the Ekiti election because of the danger it portends for our democracy. They must invite everyone who featured in that audio of shame to testify about the rigging of Ekiti poll, using the military,” it said.
“We want to assure Nigerians that we will ensure that this issue will not be swept under the carpet, and that those who are found to have played an ignominious role in what is now definitely a plot to rig the Ekiti election will be brought to justice,” it submitted.
But in its reaction to growing allegation of conspiracy with the PDP to scuttle Nigeria’s democracy, the Nigerian military has reaffirmed its commitment to the country’s democratic process.
In a statement, Chris Olukolade, the Spokesperson of the Defence Headquarters, on Wednesday, reassured “Nigerians that the military will while working with all security agencies and stake holders in the process, remain professional, apolitical and non-partisan in all operations or activities related to this crucial exercise.”