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by Deji Abiodun
The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, raised alarm that the All Progressives Congress, APC, was plotting to take over Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Delta states where the PDP genuinely won.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, yesterday, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, raised the alarm, arguing the PDP was ready for the love of the country to put behind it, cases of alleged election malpractices and anomalies that took place in some states in the north.
The party, which warned the APC not to take for granted its decision to concede defeat, alleged that the APC was planning to procure and compromise some stakeholders in the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and security personnel to doctor electoral materials against the PDP at the tribunal.
Metuh, who noted that as a party, it must not be treated as conquered people, however, threatened that it will not accept any move by anybody to manipulate the process and rob it of clear victories in these states or any other state.
He said the PDP never raised issues about the elections conducted in Kano and Katsina where there was no void vote and alleged cases of underaged voting.
The PDP spokesperson, while answering questions, said: “We have not tried to make an issue of how voting was done in some parts of the north apart from the under aged people that voted and the way these things happened. Have we traded in card readers, how many people it recorded in those states?
PDP must not be treated like conquered people
“Even in some states, we have no void votes. In some states of the north, for instance Kano, there was no single void vote in the entire state. So, they are so brilliant and they are doctorate degree holders that they know how to handle it to the point that nobody made a single mistake.
“So, please, this is a country, but we are not waiting to be occupied. Yes, we have been told that the majority of Nigerians voted for the other party. As democrats, we have accepted it. But even in our laws, even in our grieving, we do not want to be like fools. They should not be treating us like conquered people.
“The language they use on us, they way they are doing it, it is like they are army of conquerors not people who are ready to be guided by the tenets of democracy but instead have come to deal with a conquered people and a conquered party.
“We have sustained democracy for 16 years. They have not even taken over democracy and they are telling lies and trying to instigate things to put our democracy in jeopardy.
“We will continue to defend democracy. We wish them good luck in the four years they are coming in sustaining this democracy. But the way they are going about it, they are starting on a wrong footing.”
In his statement entitled, “APC’s heinous plot against the people’s will in Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Delta States, Metuh said: “At the end of the 2015 general elections, our party’s leader, President Goodluck Jonathan in a rare show of statesmanship conceded defeat and congratulated the APC Presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari.
“That singular action lowered the tension in the land, stabilized the polity and enhanced our global democratic credential and rating. In the same spirit, our gubernatorial and legislative candidates who lost at the elections also accepted defeat in keeping with the overall need to preserve our democracy and our unity as a people.
“These sacrifices from our candidates came notwithstanding the numerous anomalies and crass irregularities that characterized the general elections to the disadvantage of our party. The PDP took the outcome of the elections in good faith, not because the processes were without flaws but for the general interest of the nation.
“It is, however, worrisome that even in victory, the APC has remained desperate in the desire to be in total control of the polity by attempting to take over the states genuinely won by the PDP.
“You will recall that we had earlier alerted Nigerians of a groundswell of plots by the APC to foist a one party rule in our country by attempting to destabilize the PDP, take over some of our states and legislative seats, all to ensure that there is no strong opposition when they eventually assume power.
“As we speak, APC has resorted to instigating crisis, inciting the people while mobilizing resources to arm-twist the judiciary ostensibly to torpedo the will of the people in these states. In particular, our findings show that in Delta, Rivers and Akwa Ibom states, the APC machinery is working round the clock to ensure that it upturn the victory of the PDP and the mandate freely given to us by the people in these states.
“We are aware of the clandestine moves by the APC to procure and compromise some stakeholders in the elections including INEC and security personnel to bear false witness and doctor electoral materials against the PDP at the tribunal.
“This is in addition to sponsoring negative publications in some section of the media, laced with false claims and distortion of election figures to suit their nefarious plans of swaying public opinion and the course of justice against our party in these states.
“We know that the main aim behind APC’s desperation to take over these three states is their belief that they are strategic to the PDP and that taking them away will further weaken and undermine our party and accelerate the quest for a one-party state in our country.
We’ll resist any clandestine move
“However, the PDP wishes to state in very clear terms that we will not accept any attempt by anybody whatsoever, especially the APC to manipulate the process and rob us of our clear victories in these states or any other state for that matter.
“The APC must not in anyway take our civility driven by patriotic zeal for peace, unity and harmony in the country for granted. We want to state categorically that our members across the country are able, willing and ready to defend our mandate in these states using all available instruments within the ambit of the law.
“As a party that has made history by nurturing democracy for 16 years, and elevating it to a standard appreciated by the democratic community world over, we cannot fold our hands and watch while the gains are being undermined by the APC and its agents.
“It is on this note that the PDP draws the attention of the judiciary, INEC and security authorities to the heinous scheme by the APC to drag their institution and men into these criminal plots. In view of the above, therefore, we urge these institutions to closely monitor its officials involved in the elections and do every thing within the law to safeguard their reputation against the acts of a few greedy and dubious individuals.
“Finally, while we note that the APC should be held responsible should there be any breakdown of law and order in Rivers, Delta and Akwa Ibom states. We charge the people not to relent but to stand up and defend their mandates and use all means allowed by the law to ensure that their will expressed through the ballot box is not thwarted by desperate and greedy enemies of democracy.”
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