Don’t Plunge Nigeria into Anarchy, FG Tells PDP

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Lai Mohammed

Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

Barely 24 hours after the presidential candidates of the political parties signed the second peace accord, the federal government has admonished the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) not to destabilise the country out of its desperation for power.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who made the admonition yesterday in Ilorin, Kwara State while briefing journalists, said Nigeria’s unity and survival override any party’s ambition.

He warned that the ongoing attempt by the PDP to discredit the results of the yet-to-be held general election was an invitation to anarchy.

Mohammed condemned PDP’s decision to set up a Parallel Voting Tabulation (PVT) System and for lacking confidence in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) through its avowed determination to discredit the outcome of the 2019 elections.

‘’Consistently, the PDP has been attacking the two national institutions that are most pivotal to the elections – the INEC and the police. This is part of the party’s strategy to erode confidence in the institutions, preparatory to faulting the outcome of the elections.

‘’We have also been calling national and international attention to this strategy by the PDP. We warned that the PDP will do everything to scuttle the polls, failing which the opposition party will work to discredit the results. The persistent accusation of planned rigging of the polls, which is not evidence-based, the not-so-subtle threat of violence issued by the PDP at its press conference on Wednesday and the setting up of the PVT are all geared to achieve one objective: discredit the election results,’’ Mohammed said.

According to him, what the PDP intends to achieve through the PVT is to set up a parallel electoral commission that will announce its own concocted results and throw the nation into crisis. He, however, warned that although it is standard practice for political parties to have their own monitoring system during elections, PDP will bear the dire consequences, should it proceed to usurp the role of INEC.

‘’INEC is the only body statutorily imbued with the power to collate and announce the results of national elections. The penalties for any individual or organisation that usurps these functions are clearly spelt out. It is therefore necessary to remind the PDP not to sabotage the 2019 general election on the altar of desperation,’’ he said.

Mohammed also urged the security agencies to ensure that no one precipitates chaos before, during and after the elections, and called on Nigerians to turn out en masse to peacefully exercise their franchise.

‘’The threat of fire and brimstone issued by the PDP, for no reason at all, is incongruent with the stated position of its presidential candidate that his ambition is not worth the life of any Nigerian. Attacks on the institutions charged with organising and securing the elections constitute a recipe for anarchy, while anarchy spares no

one’s life!’’ he said.