FG Backs US, UK Threat to Punish Election Riggers 


By Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

The federal government has declared its support for the statements credited to the governments of United States and the United Kingdom wherein they demanded a credible and peaceful election in Nigeria.

The two major powers had also threatened punitive measures against election riggers and perpetrators of electoral violence out of concerns on the outcome of Nigeria’s general election billed for next month.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed spoke on behalf of government on Friday.

In the statement issued in Ilorin, he said the federal government was particularly delighted that the two permanent members of the UN Security Council, made statements after government raised alarm about the evil plot of some opposition elements to scuttle the 2019 polls through widespread violence.

‘’A few days ago, we alerted the nation to the plot by the opposition to orchestrate widespread violence in the country, using insurgents and criminal elements within and outside the country. Their plan is to scuttle the election and then push for an interim government, having realised they can’t win a free, fair, credible and peaceful elections.

‘’The fact that those statements came after we issued our red alert, which is based on credible intelligence, shows that the international community is closely monitoring events ahead of the election. We urge them to keep a close tab on the desperate opposition, whose language, actions and undisguised threats are antithetical to the conduct of peaceful polls,’’ Mohammed said.

He tasked Nigerians and the international community to take seriously the assurance by President Muhammadu Buhari, to organise a credible and violence-free election.

He boasted the APC-led administration is confident of victory in the forthcoming elections, saying since the party was not so desperate as to rig election while in opposition, it will not manipulate the election or foist violence now that it is in power and enjoying massive support from the citizenry.

Mohammed charged the international community to keep tab on those planning to scuttle the polls, resorting to power via subterfuge and seeking to discredit an election that has yet to be held by condemning INEC, the police and the entire electoral process.

‘’On our part, we have confidence in the electoral process and the institutions saddled with organising and securing the election. That’s why we have been busy campaigning vigorously across the country, attracting unprecedented, organic crowds everywhere we go.

‘’The party that has a history of rigging polls is well known to Nigerians. The party that has a history of using security forces to unleash violence in order to steal the people’s votes is well known to Nigerians. The party that organized an election that was later described as flawed by its own ‘winning’ presidential candidate is well known to Nigerians. That party is not the All Progressives Congress (APC),’’ he said.