Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, yesterday pointedly accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of a grand plan to rig the presidential and National Assembly elections rescheduled for Saturday.
Speaking at the PDP 84th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held at the party’s headquarters in Abuja, the PDP flag bearer alleged that the ruling party had sent a contingent of agents to China to learn how to compromise the smart card reader, a key tool for accreditation of voters during the election.
Atiku also described as shocking the directive of Buhari that the military and police should be ruthless in dealing with miscreants, stressing that the president has failed to uphold the rule of law by constantly violating it.
He stated: “It is shocking for any Head of State to utter such words in a democracy and we shall not accept it from Gen. Buhari in this country. We have fought more ruthless dictators than himself.
“A precondition for free, fair and credible election is that the people are able to freely vote the candidate of their choice. You owe it to the people to let them give their verdict in the same way that you were elected. If you do so and if you win, then the people will commend you for it but otherwise, history will condemn you for it but before history does that, we will condemn you for it.
“We have just discovered that the APC have hired many of their operatives and have taken them to China to be trained, and they have been so trained, and they are back, and they are equipped with devices that are meant to slow or fasten our card readers.
“So, if you are in the South-south, South-east and North-central, you are likely to get your card readers to be slowed by those APC operatives.
“If you are from the North-west, North-east or South-west the tendency is that they will use these machines to fast-track the readings of your card readers, so that many of their supporters can vote while disenfranchising the other three zones.”
Also, the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, said that APC is trying hard to extricate itself from the mess that led to the postponement of the elections, but that the more the party tried, the more it became clearer that they were indeed a critical accomplice in the untidy outing of the electoral commission.
He said that the ruling APC cannot extricate itself from the mess that led to the postponement of the elections.
He added that while the APC Director of Planning and Election Monitoring, and Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, and its National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, struggled to turn the mess of last Saturday away from their party through their various utterances, they ended up exposing their involvement in a marriage that has gone sour.
“They still believe that they can deceive Nigerians into not recognising the crocodile tears from the real ones,” he said, adding: “The agenda of that directive is clear, to scare away voters and agents, that we have directed the people to defend their votes, so as not to give way to a military protected political thugs, to come into the polling booths, and implement their result replacement strategy.”
On his part, the Director General of PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, and Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said that APC don’t want INEC to hold elections on Saturday and urged INEC to deliver for the sake of millions of Nigerians.
Those present at the meeting include; Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu; Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara; former Senate President, Senator David Mark; former Minister of Special Duties, Alhaji Kabir Tanimu Turaki SAN; Governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo; Governor of Benue State, Dr. Samuel Ortom; Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed; former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayo Fayose; former Governor of Niger State, Dr. Babangida Aliyu; former Katsina State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema; and Senator Dino Melaye, among others.