False alarm will not help you, opposition party tells Buhari
Iyobosa Uwugiaren and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Ahead of the Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections, the federal government yesterday alerted the country to the alleged last-minute desperate plot by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to orchestrate a crisis and trigger a sense of panic among the populace, in furtherance of their plan to discredit the election and cause constitutional crisis.
But in a swift response, the main opposition party has said that no amount of fabrications, false alarm, blackmail and resort to violence by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Presidency of Muhammadu Buhari could sway Nigerians or help their plots to rig the presidential election.
In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the alleged plot confirms the alarm raised by the federal government on January 21 and February 3, 2019 that the PDP was planning to scuttle the election and, where that fails, discredit it.
He said in the days ahead, PDP bigwigs, including its presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, his running mate Peter Obi, PDP governors and others, are planning a world press conference in order to level frivolous and unfounded allegations against the federal government and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mohammed said part of the false allegations they plan to make is that the Presidency, in connivance with the APC, is planning to force the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to announce presidential election results that are favourable to the government in power, on the basis of the false premise that the APC’s intelligence team is worried that the ruling party would lose the elections.
He said the PDP bigwigs also plan to use their world press conference to further disparage the Buhari administration as well as the ruling APC, with a view to painting an unfavourable image of both to Nigerians and the international community and to put the government on the defensive in the run-up to the polls.
‘’We are therefore calling on all Nigerians and the international community to disregard any attempt to scuttle or discredit the polls. We urge observers to keep an open mind. There is no cause for alarm, except in the warped imagination of the PDP, which has entered the panic mode and is already ruing the loss of another general election even before it has been held,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the PDP has said that no amount of fabrications, false alarm, blackmail and resort to violence by the APC and the Muhammadu Buhari presidency could sway Nigerians or help their plots to rig the 2019 presidential election.
The party in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said that the Presidency’s fresh attempt to use Lai Mohammed, to lay further false allegations on the PDP has failed, because Nigerians already know those plotting to scuttle the elections by inciting violence and issuing death threats against others.
He added that it is clear to all that violence, death threats and plot to disrupt the elections have become an official policy of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, having realised that Buhari has no chance in the February 16 presidential election.
He stated, “What has Lai Mohammed to say to President Muhammadu Buhari, who in Zamfara state on Sunday, urged his supporters to get ready to fight and unleash violence on other Nigerians?
“What has Lai Mohammed to say to the threat by his party’s chieftain and governor of Kaduna state, Nasir el-Rufai, who declared that members of the global democratic institution working for peaceful election in our country will return to their countries in body bags?
“Lai Mohammed has nothing to say to the Director General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, Rotimi Amaechi, who raised a war chant and threatened Nigerians at the APC Presidential rally in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.”
The main opposition party therefore urged Nigerians to remain alert, resist the incitements of the APC, protect one another, insist that the Presidential election must hold on February 16 and do all, within their legitimate rights, to protect their votes to the very end.