The Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress have perfected their plans to rig the governorship election in Lagos. But which party will have the upper hand?
| By Maureen Chigbo | April 11, 2015 @ 9:33 GMT
ON the eve of the hotly contested guber elections in the country, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the All Progressive Congress, APC, are still engaged in intrigues, allegations and counter allegations in a bid to win the April 11 elections. Both political parties have perfected their plans to rig the elections. But they are trying to fool the electorate by publicly accusing each other of planning to rig elections in Lagos State.
For instance, the PDP had sent out alarm to its members on Thursday stating that Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Akinwunmi Ambode has finalised plans in secret with Akin Orebiyi, INEC resident electoral commissioner in Lagos, to disenfranchise non-indigenes, particularly Igbos, in the forthcoming elections this Saturday. The plans, as alleged, were perfected in secret meetings held in a discrete location in Victoria Island, is to ensure that voting is delayed until the next day being Sunday in areas where Igbos are predominant population in Lagos like Festac Town, Satellite Town, Amuwo-Odofin, Aguda, Okota, some parts of Surulere, amongst other places. It is calculated that since the Igbos are predominantly Christians, most won’t come out to vote again on Sunday, after spending time waiting to vote on Saturday so as to give advantage to the APC’s candidate.
On the other hand, the APC sent out text messages saying that PDP had a meeting on Thursday night till early hour of Friday morning with some of the presiding officer for Saturday election. It said that PDP at the meeting told the officers that they have been able to secure some of the uncollected permanent voters card from INEC and they have also distributed the cards to people that will take them to the relevant unit to vote. APC alleged that the presiding of officers have been instructed to fill incident form for them and allow them to vote. The means of identification is a blue wrist band. The All Progressives Congress (APC) has slammed the PDP over its desperation to capture Lagos State at all cost, including using fake result sheets which were flown in from Abuja for Saturday’s elections, warning that the people will resist any attempt to rob them of their votes.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Friday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said the rigging plans are being led by President Goodluck Jonathan, who has already flown into Lagos where he has held a meeting with his point men, including Musiliu Obanikoro, Jimi Agbaje and Gani Adams.
It said that before the meeting, eagle-eyed Nigerians who are appalled by the PDP’s rigging plans have widely circulated on the Social Media the details of the planned electoral malfeasance, including the airlifting from Abuja to Lagos of a Black Kia Mohave SUV, with plate number DHQ 340, which was packed with election materials (especially result sheets).
”The meeting in Lagos was aimed at devising a strategy to distribute the fake result sheets that were packed into the SUV, which will be free to move around (because of its plate number) despite the
restriction on vehicular movement during the elections.
”It is sad that the same President, who conceded defeat in the presidential election and then followed up with a speech in which he said he would like his ‘legacy’ of free and fair elections to endure, is the one who is presiding over a desperate move to steal the people’s votes on Saturday.
”How can President Jonathan’s ‘legacy’ endure when one of his last acts in office is a seeming vengeance mission to lead his party to capture Lagos, because the PDP sees the state as a cash cow that they can milk to death, with the party’s gravy train at the federal level having derailed?” the party queried. In their desperation over the Lagos election, they have shamelessly divided the people along ethnic, religious and regional lines, thus setting the stage for the condemnable hate speeches to which they have in turn latched on to further whip up primordial sentiments,” APC said.
However, Reuben Abati, presidential media adviser, dismissed and accused Lai Mohammed, the spokesman of APC of being rude and making false accusations against Jonathan. Abati said the president had no plan to rig the elections, adding that nothing unusual happened in the State House, Marina today.
“Lai Muhammed is wrong to say that the President came to Lagos to rig the Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly elections scheduled for Saturday, April 11. He is of course lying as usual and rude. “President Jonathan visited Lagos. He arrived on Thursday and left on Friday. People visited him. So what? Anytime the President is in Lagos or any part of the country, a lot of people come to pay homage to him. Nothing unusual happened during his last visit to Lagos.
“Senator Musiliu Obanikoro’s visit to the President in Lagos is not something that anybody should use to play politics. Koro is a Minister of the Federal Republic. He came to see his boss.
“Mr. Jimi Agbaje is the Governorship candidate of the PDP in Lagos. I don’t see how his visit to the President, who is also the leader of his party, the PDP, should become an issue.
“Yes, Gani Adams also visited, but so did a lot of other people,” Abati said.
Contrary to Mohammed’s allegation, Abati noted that Jonathan did not hold any meeting with Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, officials or any other official involved in the elections,
saying: “The President did not hold meetings with INEC officials, he did not meet with the police, or polling officials or with anybody who is involved in organising elections. So to say that the President went to Lagos to supervise the rigging of Saturday’selection is most uncharitable and cruel.”
Abati recalled that the president did not rig the March 28, elections and will not rig any election at all, adding that he conceded defeat quickly and saved the nation from crisis. “He has demonstrated his commitment to free and fair election, the rule of law and due process. He has shown that he is a man of character, honour and integrity. Nigerians generally are proud of him. He has left a worthy legacy and shown a great example.
“That, obviously, is the narrative that Lai Muhammed and his masters want to change, so they are now cooking up meaningless tales.
Lai Muhammed should look for another target and leave the President alone. His fatuous tale does not make any sense. I repeat: we will like to advise that the APC should just leave the President alone. President Jonathan was a candidate in the presidential election; he did not rig the election. Why would he want to right tomorrow’s elections?” he said