The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of plotting to rig the 2023 general elections.
PDP spokesperson, Debo Ologunagba, made the accusation on Wednesday at a press conference in Abuja.
The party also accused the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu of an alleged plot to derail the polls.
Against this backdrop, the party asked President Muhammadu Buhari to call Tinubu and his party members in order to ensure a peaceful, free, fair, transparent and credible electoral process.
It is being alleged that Tinubu, in a closed-door meeting in London earlier this month, told his members that “political power is not going to be served in a restaurant. It is not served a la carte. It is what we are doing; It is being determined; you do it at all cost; fight for it, grab it, snatch it and run with it.”
But Ologunagba said, “In response to this directive, APC leaders and members have now activated plots to derail the electoral process through orchestrated violent attacks in various states of the country aimed to trigger a national security emergency, instil fear and make it appear not conducive to conduct elections in the country.
“Part of the plot is the current attacks on the facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, in various parts of the country as witnessed in Ogun, Osun and Imo States where sections critical to the conduct of elections particularly those connected to the collection of Permanent Voters Cards PVCs were targeted and destroyed.”
The PDP spokesperson said, “Our party has been made aware of plans by the APC to orchestrate attacks in other states particularly Kogi and Delta; some states of the South East as well as parts of the North with the view to subverting the electoral process in as many states as possible.
“Intelligence available to our party indicates that the attack on INEC facilities is to prevent newly-registered voters from collecting their PVCs; destroy the PVCs so that they will not be available for collection in INEC offices, and thirdly, destroy INEC equipment and cripple its capacity to conduct elections.
“In addition, the APC has introduced a very disturbing dimension of purchasing PVCs from unsuspecting Nigerians through monetary inducement masquerading as empowerment programmes.
“In any case, our party is not surprised at the resort to violence by Asiwaju Tinubu and the APC; a clear acceptance of electoral defeat which accounts for the APC’s presidential candidate’s decision to boycott the signing of the National Peace Accord by presidential candidates in the 2023 elections.
“Of course, the London meeting where Asiwaju Tinubu directed his party members to unleash violence on Nigerians was a closed-door event which inadvertently leaked to the public. The APC aimed to hit our nation with violence and mislead security agencies to direct their investigation on criminal elements and social restiveness, instead of the real culprit, the APC.”
In his reaction to the claim, the spokesman for Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, called on law enforcement agencies to invite the leaders of the PDP for questioning.
Keyamo stated that the manner Ologunagba and the party concocted the allegations raised at their conference connotes that they know more than they are trying to deceive Nigerians.
The statement read, “This press statement, coming just barely 48 hours after one of its former officials was convicted by a court of law over illegal acts committed during an election over which the PDP government presided, is just a pointer to the lowest level of moral debauchery to which the PDP has sunk.
“It operates without an iota of shame or respect for the Nigerian people. Instead of continuous apologies for those grievous acts of election rigging, money laundering and other electoral malpractices, it continues to pontificate.
“Based on its latest statement about having ‘credible information’ about certain individuals plotting to derail the 2023 elections, including acts of arson already perpetrated on the facilities of INEC, we, therefore, call on the law-enforcement agencies to, as a matter of urgency, invite the PDP leaders for immediate questioning.”
Keyamo said the PDP must provide information about the place and time such a meeting took place and those in attendance; identities of those who committed these acts of arson on the facilities of INEC and those who sponsored them.