The All Progressives Congress (APC) has raised the alarm over plans by one of the security agencies, apparently acting on the orders of the Jonathan Administration, to harass and intimidate supposed sponsors of the party, as part of ongoing efforts to cripple its activities in the build-up to the March 28th polls.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the opposition party, however, said the agency can only target phantom financiers, since the APC is, in reality, being financed by Nigerians, not some money bags.
“We made it clear early on that our party, which has now become a people-driven movement, is being bankrolled by ordinary Nigerians, who have contributed generously to the party through the platforms that we published in the newspapers for all to see.
“Though the federal government has used some national institutions to stifle our party’s fund-raising efforts, Nigerians have utilized the available platforms to make their donations. It is therefore a futile exercise for anyone to harass some innocent people for supposedly financing the APC”, it said.
The opposition party urged security agencies to only serve national, rather than partisan, interests, because while governments will always come and go, Nigeria as a country will remain.
“The information at our disposal about the role of the security agencies in the forthcoming elections is very disturbing, despite the public opprobrium that has greeted the role played by the military in rigging the 2014 Ekiti governorship election.
“For example, there is a plan for at least 500 security agents to apply to work as ad hoc INEC staff so they can rig for the PDP, while military and police uniforms are being sewn in a PDP-controlled state in the South-west, with a view to making them available for PDP thugs to wear on election day, so they can harass and intimidate the opposition.
“There is also the disturbing case of four senior officers of the State Security Service (SSS) who are being retained for some ignoble role during the general elections, even though they are already due for retirement. It is interesting that these officers, including three at the states and one at the headquarters of the SSS, are all from the South-East and the South-South, which the Jonathan-led administration considers its stronghold.
“Equally disturbing is the fact that a section of the security services has been making sensitive information available to certain PDP members, including a loose-lipped state Governor, just to get at the opposition. This is sad because Nigeria is bigger than any political party”, the party said.
It, therefore, appealed to the security agencies to be non-partisan, professional and patriotic in carrying out their duties before, during and after the general elections.
“Put Nigeria first, don’t favour the PDP, don’t favour the APC, don’t favour any party,” the APC told the security agencies.