The All Progressives Congress, APC, has dismissed allegations by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that it has conspired with the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega, to rig forthcoming elections.
The National Publicity Secretary of APC, Lai Mohammed, told PREMIUM TIMES that the allegation was calculated at creating grounds to remove Mr. Jega as the head of the electoral body.
The PDP presidential campaign had through its head of Media and Publicity, Femi Fani-Kayode, accused Mr. Jega and INEC of “a grand conspiratorial alliance with the APC to fraudulently secure victory in the forthcoming elections”.
The party based its claim on the distribution of Permanent Voter Cards which it said was skewed against the North Central, South-East, South-West and South-South — all areas the party said should give President Goodluck Jonathan large amount of votes.
The team said it had evidence that Mr. Jega and some unnamed APC leaders had a meeting in Dubai, United Arab Emirate.
Mr. Mohammed denied the allegations.
”I have made findings. And I can tell you that not only that no leader of APC had been to Dubai in the last two weeks, but there has not been any meeting between APC or any of our representatives with INEC or any of its staff including Jega anywhere in the world,” he said Thursday.
“Of course, Fani-Kayode could not present any evidence or proof. And so, the allegation is baseless and unverifiable. He is hired to distract us with unverifiable allegations. But, we know him very well. We are not distracted. We remain focused on our campaign to salvage Nigeria.
“Ordinarily, no one should belabour himself or herself trying to reply Fani-Kayode. Doing that causes distraction. Fani-Kayode is a rabble-rouser, hired to heat up the polity with baseless talks,” he said.
“Yes, they know what they are doing. Gripped by fear of defeat in a free and fair election, they are only creating grounds to attack Jega and ultimately force him to proceed on terminal leave before the elections, thereby replacing him with another man,” Mr. Mohammed said.
Mr. Mohammed said the PDP campaign spokesperson, Mr. Fani-Kayode, and some other leaders of the party, are merely supporting President Jonathan to save them from their graft charges.
“Please quote me,” Mr. Mohammed said, “they are supporting Jonathan because they are assured of protection by the President, evade justice,” Mr. Mohammed said.