Interim Govt a Plot By APC, DSS to Subvert Election Tribunal, Says PDP
*Challenges secret police to arrest politicians behind alleged plot
*Vows to prove its case in tribunal
*PDP suffering from post-election trauma, APC claims
Chuks Okocha and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The controversy over the alleged plot to install an interim government in the country has continued unabated as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday described it as a covert plan by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Department of State Services (DSS) to subvert the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.
The main opposition party, which has also restated its opposition to an interim government, describing it as unconstitutional, also charged the DSS to work covertly like its counterparts all over the world to unmask the politicians plotting to truncate the swearing-in of a new government on May 29.
But in a swift response, the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of the APC has said that the main opposition party was suffering from post-election trauma.
The National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, who blamed the APC for the DSS alarm, in an interview with THISDAY in Abuja yesterday, argued that the ruling party was aware that it did not win the presidential election held on February 25.
According to the main opposition party, the ruling party is working covertly to suggest that the opposition parties are clamouring for an interim government, knowing full well that both the President-elect, Bola Tinubu and the party cannot survive the outcome of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.
“The entire idea of an interim government is a plot by the APC and the DSS to subvert the outcome of the presidential election tribunal. Why should the PDP be part of it? We know the PDP won the presidential election. We are at the presidential tribunal to prove we won; so, why must we follow all illegal routes?
“As a party of due process and a party that believes in the Constitution of Nigeria, we are in the presidential election tribunal challenging the illegalities that took place on February 25.
“Why should we opt for a short option? Look, the idea of the interim government is the brainchild of the APC, because they knew what they concocted with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); the APC knew that the election is nothing but a sham and therefore cannot stand the test of time.
“This explains its theory of Interim government with the DSS, trying to find a way out of their awful rigging. Have you been reading international journals and newspapers and seeing how Nigeria has become a laughing stock as well as begging serious democratic nations to congratulate Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the president-elect?
“If the presidential election was credible, international communities will on their own congratulate the winner of the election,” Ologunagba explained.
He urged the DSS to stop making unnecessary claims and statements, reminding it that as secret police, it should engage in covert operations to unmask those behind the alleged plot to install an interim government.
“We, in the PDP, will advise them to emulate their counterparts all over the world. They don’t make unnecessary claims and statements. The DSS is a secret police. They undergo covert operations. They are not to be seen, their actions are secrets and are louder than voices.
“We challenge them to arrest and prosecute those politicians with entrenched interest,” he added.
PDP Suffering from Post-election Trauma, APC Claims
Reacting to the PDP’s allegation, the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of the APC told THISDAY that the main opposition party was suffering from post-election trauma.
The spokesperson of the campaign, Mr. Festus Keyamo, (SAN), while reacting to PDP’s allegation, said there was no correlation between Interim National Government and Election Petition Tribunal because the invitation comes before the court’s decision.
He said: “There is no correlation between the court and the interim national government because the court decision will not come before the inauguration. So, there is no correlation, it is a corkless statement. How does it affect it? They are afraid Asiwaju will lose in court; how does it affect it? The statement does not make sense. There is no logic behind that statement.
“Except you can’t tell me the logic; maybe, I’m not seeing it, but when you explain the logic better, I can see, but I am not seeing the logic.
“How will cooking up a story of interim national government help the court case? How does it help the court case? PDP, they are suffering from post-election trauma, that’s what they are affecting from. When somebody is suffering from trauma, there is no logic behind what they are saying,” Keyamo added.
PDP Directs State Chapters to Submit Reports in 2023 General Election
Meanwhile, the main opposition party has directed all the state chapters of the party to submit a comprehensive report of the outcome of the general election, to enable it to form and take decisions.
When asked when the party will summon the meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC), Ologunagba said, “at the moment, the National Working Committee (NWC) has directed all our state chapters to give us a comprehensive report of what happened during the general election, it is only upon after that can we contemplate a meeting of NEC.”
In a related development, the South-south zone of the PDP has hailed the party over the amicable resolution of the crisis that emerged from the suspension of the party’s chairman, Senator Iyrochia Ayu, and his replacement by Alhaji Iliya Umar.
The zonal committee has also called for the establishment of a truth and reconciliation committee to achieve lasting peace in the party.
The resolutions of the South-South chapter of the party followed a meeting of the Chief Dan Orbih-led zonal branch at the zonal headquarters in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.
The party in a statement issued by its zonal publicity secretary, Bishop Etim Ante while commending its candidates who won in the 2023 general election, also commended the NWC for its handling of Ayu’s suspension saga and the subsequent assumption of office by the Deputy National Chairman North, Alhaji Iliya Umar Damagum as acting National Chairman.
“The zone calls for an amicable resolution of all lingering crises bedeviling the party.
“The zone recommends the setting up of a Truth and Reconciliation Committee to achieve lasting peace and unity for the progress and growth of the party,” the South-south PDP said following the decision of Ayu to step down as national chairman,” it added.