Barely 24 hours to the rescheduled presidential election, the All Progressives Congress, APC, has uncovered an alleged plot by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party to rig the election in favour of President Goodluck Jonathan “at all costs”, using security agencies.
The National Publicity Secretary of APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, raided the alarm during a press briefing in Lagos on Thursday, said the PDP has designed “increasingly-desperate” strategies to rig the election, particularly in the North and South-West.
The opposition party spokesman said PDP had concluded plans to deploy uniformed bandits to polling units to forcibly disperse voters, after accreditation exercise.
“While that is going on, armed police and soldiers will then come in, ostensibly to chase away the bandits and evacuate INEC officials and voting materials”, he said. “After evacuating them to ‘safety’, they will then coerce the electoral officials to allow them, security agents that is, to cast all the ballots in the particular unit”.
The alleged PDP rigging strategy in the APC-controlled states, Mr. Mohammed said, “involves the use of carrot and stick against APC agents. The carrot involves seeking to buy the agents over with mouth-watering sums of money. If this fails, security agents and PDP thugs will simply disrupt the voting and destroy election materials”.
In spite of court pronouncements against military deployment for elections, Mr. Mohammed claimed the party “have it on good authority” that the rulings would be circumvented by deploying troops, but clothing them in DSS outfits.
“They will be deployed mostly to the South-west, with strict instructions to capture all states in the region, except Osun State”, he added.
He also alleged that there were plans by the ruling party to bomb major towns in APC strongholds, particularly Kano, Lagos, Rivers and Edo States, with a view to scaring away voters.
“We are therefore using this medium to alert the general public and the international community to these evil machinations”, he said.
Stating further, Mr. Mohammed said Commissioners of Police in the South-West were charged with tasks to “scuttle the elections in the region by acts of intimidation, unlawful arrests, and turning a blind eye to all irregularities and illegality that the PDP may perpetrate during Saturday’s elections” during a secret meeting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, Wednesday.
He added that the CPs received “presidential bribe” in bullion vans at the meeting allegedly attended by the Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan, one of the characters in the infamous Ekiti governorship election rigging saga.
All these, the APC spokesman said, are happening in spite of President Jonathan’s assurance of peacful and credible polls.