The Federal Government and the All Progressive Congress (APC) have both strongly warned against what they describe as “ongoing plans by the desperate opposition to truncate the electoral process and render the February 23, elections inconclusive, in order for them to trigger a constitutional crisis and push for an interim government.” Minister of Information and
The Federal Government and the All Progressive Congress (APC) have both strongly warned against what they describe as “ongoing plans by the desperate opposition to truncate the electoral process and render the February 23, elections inconclusive, in order for them to trigger a constitutional crisis and push for an interim government.”
Minister of Information and culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, in a statement issued in Oro, Kwara State, on Monday, said “the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has started laying the groundwork for a constitutional crisis by unleashing its talk heads, including Buba Galadima, Osita Chidoka and Femi Fani-Kayode, on the public space to claim victory from Saturday’s election, even when INEC has yet to announce the result – an action that amounts to a clear case of impunity.”
Mohammed said by usurping the role of INEC through the announcement of result, the PDP has violated the Electoral Act and should face very serious consequences.
”By announcing the result and saying they have won the Feb. 23rd election, the PDP is deliberately seeking to confuse the polity and lay the foundation for rejecting the outcome if, when INEC eventually announces the result, the party does not win.”
”This confirms what we said in a series of pre-election press conferences, that the PDP – realizing it cannot win a free and fair election – will do everything possible to scuttle the polls, failing which it will proceed to the next stage, which is to discredit the entire electoral process, including the result, with the ultimate aim of precipitating a constitutional crisis and pushing for an interim government,” he said.
The minister also recalled the alarm raised by the Federal Government over the PDP’s decision to set up a parallel electoral body, under the tag of Parallel Voting Tabulation, PVT, System, which the opposition party described as a tool that will determine whether or not it accepts the results of the elections.
”We said, then, that while it is standard practice for political parties to have their own monitoring systems during elections, what is not standard is to set up a pseudo electoral commission and imbue it with the power to collate and announce results – as the PDP is now doing under the guise of PVT. Unfortunately, our warning has proven to be prescient,” he said.
Mohammed wondered why those who parade themselves as democrats will show such disdain for the electoral process, which is a key ingredient of democracy.
He called on the security agencies to nip in the bud the constitutional crisis that the PDP is working frantically to trigger, by immediately arresting and prosecuting anyone who announces the result of last Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The All Progressives Congress, APC, has also described the Peoples Democratic Paty, PDP’s call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to name its candidate, Mr. Atiku Abubakar, the winner of the presidential election “as shameful, alarming and a provocative insult to democracy and Nigeria.”
In a statement on Sunday signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Lanre Issa-Onilu, the APC said, that such call was also an unwarranted assault against the people of Nigeria.
The ruling party said the PDP was seeking a short-cut by false and premature claims of victory because it was unwilling to wait for INEC, which is the constituted legal authority, to complete its task.
The statement read in part: “Because they want the presidency so badly that they have engaged in all manner of misconduct and spared little cost to achieve their aim, they now believe that they are entitled to claim victory notwithstanding the vote and will of the people. But this is not the way of democracy. Democracy means the people choose for themselves not that the PDP chooses for them.”
“That may have been the way in the past when they engineered and kidnapped elections to achieve their desired end notwithstanding the true will of the people. Thankfully, those days are gone and gone forever.”
“These elections are supposed to be democratic exercises not a platform for the PDP to impose their selfish designs on a hopeful nation. The PDP should honour and follow the sovereign will and sober dignity of the Nigerian people.”
“For our part, the APC has governed and campaigned as we believed was right. Because of this, we are content to await the verdict of the people. We also believe that only INEC has the authority to announce election results. What the PDP is trying to do, by claiming without any factual basis that Atiku has won, is usurp INEC’s constitutional authority. Moreover, PDP’s words are rash eruptions that may incite needless violence and unrest,” the party said.