- Steer clear of N’Niger, opposition party warns ruling party
Adedayo Akinwale and Udora Orizu in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised the alarm that President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) manipulate Saturday’s gubernatorial election results in 24 states to secure victory by the use of force.
The main opposition party has also warned the ruling party to steer clear of all PDP strongholds, particularly the Niger Delta region, ahead of the March governorship and state assembly elections, in order to avert widespread crisis in the country. PDP’s warning is coming as the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has raised the alarm over alleged plan by President Buhari and his APC-led administration to unleash mayhem on Saturday and return 24 states to the APC at the governorship and houses of assembly elections.
The PDP, in a statement issued Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said that the party’s position was predicated on the ongoing heavy deployment of security forces and armed thugs into PDP strongholds, particularly the Niger Delta region, with a view to suppressing voters and manipulating the March 9 electoral process in favour of the APC
He said: “As a result, the APC is desperate to unleash violence in oil-rich Akwa-Ibom, Rivers, Cross River, Delta, Bayelsa, Abia, as well as Benue, Taraba, Gombe, Sokoto, Enugu, Ebonyi, Kwara, but these states and all other strongholds of the PDP, spanning across our nation, remain impregnable.”
The main opposition party said it has full information on various secret locations in Akwa-Ibom State, including hotels and other camps, where the APC has quartered thugs ahead of Saturday’s elections.
Ologbondiyan noted, “We note that the police have refused to evacuate these thugs; but let it be known that the people of Akwa Ibom State will never allow them to operate.”
“Since the robbery of the PDP’s presidential mandate, which Nigerians are determined to reclaim at the tribunal, the APC has been jittery over the escalated public support for the PDP not only to retain our
states but also to ensure a sweeping victory for PDP in APC states across the country.
“The PDP therefore cautions the APC as well as its compromised INEC and security officials to bear in mind that Akwa-Ibom and all Niger Delta states are incontrovertible PDP strongholds; that the APC do not have any genuine followership in these states and that anybody attempting or supporting any forceful takeover of any PDP stronghold should be aware that he or she is doing so at his or her own peril,” he warned.
………The party advised the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, to perish APC’s thought of using thugs to muscle the Akwa-Ibom governorship and state assembly elections, as the people have been fully rallied for a firm resistance on Saturday. PDP urged Nigerians to note how Osinbajo, on Tuesday, at a town hall meeting in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State, boasted that himself and Oshiomhole would ensure that the APC will never be defeated and how thugs, loaded in over 50 buses, who confessed to have been contracted by Oshiomhole, were later intercepted on their way from Edo State to Akwa-Ibom to cause mayhem during Saturday’s election.
The PDP warned that Nigerians are still livid over the rigging of the February 23 presidential election, which it claimed, was clearly won by Atiku Abubakar, stating that any further attempt to test their collective will on March 9 is capable of sparking off a huge civil restiveness across the nation.
Meanwhile, the CUPP has also alleged a plot by President Buhari and his APC-led administration to unleash mayhem on Saturday and return 24 states to the APC at the governorship and houses of assembly elections.
The opposition parties said its alarm was predicated on the fact that they intercepted part of the secret wireless signal of deployment of ‘Police Mobile Squads to States of Interest’.
In a statement issued by CUPP spokesperson, Ikenga Ugochinyere, the coalition alleged that from the signal intercepted, Nasarawa, Akwa Ibom, Sokoto, Anambra, Rivers, Taraba, Abia, Gombe and Delta States would be flooded with Mobile Police officers from various parts of the country specifically for the purpose of helping the APC rig the elections and return the states to the APC. “Zamfara, Borno, Yobe, which until a couple of days ago witnessed attacks and killings did not get extra deployment of security.
Likewise, Kaduna, Katsina, and Plateau States where killings and reprisal killings have occurred since the completion of the presidential polls did not merit extra security deployment rather hitherto peaceful states with no reported threats are getting massive security deployments,” CUPP said.
It added that the entire mobile police units of Mopol 3 Enugu, 12 Minna, 21 FCT, 25 Azumini/Iwukem, and 45 FHQ Abuja are to move to Nasarawa State and Mopol 22 Ikeja, 49 Epe and 23 FHQ Annex Lagos are all moving to help the APC rig Sokoto State.
“Furthermore, Mopol 2 Keffi Street Lagos, 5 Benin, 17 Akure and 20 Ikeja are to relocate to Akwa Ibom to be under the command of the cousin of Senator Godswill Akpabio who is the SARS Commander in Akwa Ibom State to rig elections in the state. “Gombe State will receive their own rigging machine from Mopol 52 Chalawa and 58 Lafia, while the rigging squads to Abia State are to be moved from Mopol 29 Awka, 31 Asaba and 33 Ado-Ekiti. Delta State will be Mopol 19 Port Harcourt and 55 Aba, while Anambra State will be militarised by Mopol 28 Umuahia, 51 Oghara and 63 Ikorodu,” CUPP said.