The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday accused President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of arm-twisting key stakeholders in the electoral process.
It specifically listed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies as being arm-twisted to rig the rescheduled Saturday’s Presidenatial and National Assembly election for President Buhari and the ruling APC.
At a media briefing in Abuja yesterday, PDP spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, accused the Presidency of launching ferocious plots with INEC and security agencies to ambush the rescheduled elections and foist Buhari on the nation.
The PDP vowed to ensure that the “evil plots” of the “fear-stricken” Buhari and the APC come to naught.
Commenting on the alleged plots, Ologbondiyan said, “Since the postponement, the Buhari Presidency and APC have been breathing down the neck of the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, in a desperate and feverish bid to consolidate their control of the operations of the commission and execute their rigging plot.”
The PDP alleged that the ruling party rose from a late night meeting at the State House on Tuesday with a directive to Resident Electoral Commissioner (RECs) to give result sheets to APC agents to manipulate election results.
“Intelligence at our disposal reveals that the INEC Chairman has succumbed to back channel bullying by the Buhari Presidency and APC to accede to their demand to replace Electoral Officers (EOs) in various critical states with APC agents who will vehemently execute President Buhari’s rigging plans in the February 23, presidential election.”
The PDP claimed to have in custody the full details of Department of State Services (DSS) interference with operations of critical departments in INEC, including the ICT department.
The party also claimed to have details of President Buhari’s Tuesday night meeting with some APC northern governors and Service Chiefs, where pressure was allegedly mounted on the Service Chiefs in connection with the APC rigging plans.
Continuing, the PDP spokesman said: “We alert Nigerians that the INEC chairman has been intimidated with threat of ‘Onnoghen’s treatment’ to accept a list of APC members and agents and post them to serve as EOs in various states, including Kano, Kaduna, Rivers, Bauchi, Akwa-Ibom, Zamfara, Benue, Sokoto, Lagos, Plateau, Taraba, Borno, Adamawa, Kogi, Delta, Ebonyi among others.
”These APC EOs have been briefed to ensure the diversion of sensitive electoral materials from designated polling centres, delay the accreditation process, so as to frustrate voters’ enthusiasm, compromise the collation process to allocate and announce fictitious results for President Buhari and muddle up the process to pave way for result cancellation where it becomes impossible to rig.
“The PDP stands with Nigerians in directly rejecting this latest arm-twisting of security agencies as well as the nefarious plots to use APC members as INEC Election Officers.
“However, the PDP, in clear terms, assures INEC, compromised security agents and President Buhari that their evil plans will definitely come to naught.
“The PDP, therefore, cautions INEC to immediately end its back channel links and disentangle itself from the Buhari Presidency or risk being on collision course with the Nigerian people.