The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of planning to truncate the coming elections, calling on security agencies to place leaders of the ruling party under watch.
The PDP made the call during a press briefing by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja on Friday.
The opposition party alleged that the APC is orchestrating security situation that can lead to the postponement of the general election.
The PDP also insisted that the scheduled dates of the elections remain sacrosanct as the party would not accept any postponement.
It also accused the APC of making false claim that the PDP had no candidate for the Borno Central Senatorial District election, insist- ing that Umara Muhammad Kumalia remained the party’s validly nominated candidate.
Speaking on why he called the press conference, Ologunagba said: “The first is the heightening plot by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to derail the conduct of the 2023 general election. The second is the attempt by the APC to mislead the public by falsely claiming that the PDP has no candidate for Borno Central Senatorial District election.
“Our party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has been following the many furtive narratives being promoted by the APC with the view to blackmailing critical election stakeholders to accede to its design to post- pone the 2023 general election, particularly the February 25 presidential election.
“Our party had earlier alerted the nation of a well- oiled plot by the APC to orchestrate security situation and promote circumstances to warrant the postponement of the general election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“The ultimate intent of the APC is to use such un- founded circumstance to derail the entire electoral process and impose an un- democratic situation on our country.
“The PDP hereby insists without equivocation that the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elec- tion date is sacrosanct. The February 25 date is already locked in for the presidential and National Assembly elections. The security agencies have given their assurances, the Federal Government has also given its assurance; Nigerians are ready and will not accept any postponement of elections under any guise whatsoever.
“The APC and its presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, know that they have no chance at all in the com- ing elections, having been rejected by Nigerians because of their multiple failures, recklessness, humongous corruption, violence and continuing infliction of pains, hardship and life- discounting experiences of Nigerians in the last seven and a half years.
“Nigerians are not ready to continue with a hopelessly corrupt, miserably incompetent and viciously insensitive political party, the APC, which has mortgaged the future of our country with an accumulated N77 trillion debt as revealed by the Debt Management Office (DMO).
“This explains why the APC and its presidential candidate continue to promote and encourage violence in various parts of our country, including attacking INEC facilities.
“The APC and its leaders are desperate to use their doomsday orchestrations to frighten and blackmail INEC to alter the electoral schedule after which the APC will take advantage of the situation to unsettle the general election, foist a constitutional crisis and truncate the nation’s democratic process,
“The PDP, therefore, charges INEC, as an independent institution, not to succumb to the blackmails of the APC but focus on its preparations and fix its eyes on delivering a free, fair, transparent and credible election on February 25, 2023.
“The PDP also demands that security agencies should place APC leaders on watch list and take urgent steps to halt APC’s implementation of Tinubu’s directives to his party members, as contained in the recently leaked video, to deploy violence and underhand dealings in the 2023 general election.
“Nigerians are eager to vote on February 25. They have suffered a lot and can- not wait to kick out the vicious, insensitive and corrupt APC and vote in the PDP and Atiku Abubakar to res- cue and rebuild our nation.
“Atiku Abubakar is poised to win the majority of votes cast across the country and secure 25 per cent in all the states of the federation to emerge president on the very first ballot. Those try- ing to push the run-off narrative or postponement of elections should perish the thought. They should get ready for elections or quit the race.
“On the Borno Central Sen- atorial District election, our party has been made aware of mischievous and mislead- ing claims by the APC, that the PDP has no candidate for the Borno Central Senatorial election scheduled to hold on February 25.
“For clarity, the PDP states in an unequivocal term that our candidate for the Borno Central Senatorial election remains Hon. Umara Mu- hammad Kumalia as con- firmed in the list of can- didates for the 2023 gen- eral election as published by INEC.
“Such resort to falsehood further exposes the fact that the APC in Borno State is intimidated by the towering credibility and popularity of our Borno Central Senatorial candidate, Hon. Umara Muhammad Kumalia, among the people for which they are eager to troop out en masse to vote for him on February 25.
“The APC should under- stand that the people have settled for our candidate, Hon. Umara Muhammad Kumalia and cannot be swayed by their falsehood and misleading claims.
“The PDP, therefore, urges our teeming party members, supporters and good people of Borno Central Senatorial District to disregard and ignore the APC and continue to stand behind our candidate, Hon. Umara Muhammad Kumalia, as he marches to victory in the forthcoming senatorial election.”
In a swift response, the APC Presidential Campaign Council described the PDP as confused and rudderless, saying it has nothing but pity for a party that has, according to it, become a mess and total embarrassment to itself and its members.
The reaction was contained in a statement by the council’s Director of Media and Publicity, Bayo Onanuga.
The council said: “For lack of nothing tangible to tell Nigerians six weeks to a general election as its candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, disappeared from the campaign trail, PDP has resorted to making irresponsible statements just to fill media space.
“The latest is the false information that the Federal Government and INEC plan to postpone the general election.
“Nigerians are advised to ignore this senseless conjecture from PDP as there is no iota of truth in the allegation.
“The electoral umpire has made it abundantly clear, its readiness to conduct the elections and these elections will hold as scheduled in February and March this year.
“President Muhammadu Buhari, who has given this country the most credible elections, both regular and off-season since 2015, has consistently assured Nigerians, even up to two days ago, that the 2023 elections will hold.
“Similarly, the Minister of Information and Culture, Al-haji Lai Mohammed, has reiterated President Buhari’s position that the Federal Government has no intention to postpone elections.
“Knowing that it has no path to victory and no real agenda for development to sell to Nigerians by its absentee presidential candidate, PDP has nothing profitable again to engage in other than raising false alarms, manufacturing outright lies and disseminating innuendos to deceive the public.
“PDP should know that Nigerians have rejected it and no amount of falsehood can redeem a political party that wrecked our economy, on its watch, created massive insecurity and looted money meant for development.
“If we go by what the party’s presidential candidate has been saying, no lesson about the ignoble past has been learnt as he has promised to sell the NNPC Limited assets for just $10 billion, the way he sold prime national assets for peanuts under his care.
“As a party and presidential campaign council, we are focused on the message of renewed hope of our candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima.
“We shall also continue to tell Nigerians about the achievements of the APC- led Federal Government of President Muhammadu Buhari across sectors, es- pecially in areas of the infrastructural development, agricultural revolution and food security, rebuilding of our armed forces with sophisticated hardware and reforms in the oil and gas sector, among others.”
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