Could it be true that mouth-watering sums have been deployed to ensure, by hooks or crooks, that each of the two major political parties wins Saturday’s rescheduled elections?
Or, is it all part of the irresponsible campaign gimmicks and comments to overheat the polity? Whichever the case, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are bandying figures that are mind boggling. The monies are to be used for activities that are clearly illegal.
First, it was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that announced that the Presidency is releasing over N6 billion looted from federal funds to APC National Assembly candidates to execute the party’s rigging plans in the February 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections.
It said the information available to It, according to a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, shows that each of the 109 APC senatorial candidates received N20 million, the 360 APC House of Representatives candidates are being given N10 million each, while various amounts are being disbursed by the Buhari Presidency to some other APC leaders for the rigging plot.
In fact, a PDP sympathiser and Chairman of the Reformed APC, Alhaji Buba Galadima, went on television on Tuesday evening to ask government security and financial agencies to investigate the transfer of the sums to the politician’s accounts.
Not long after The PDP allegation by Mr. Ologbondiyan, his opposite number in the APC, Lanre Isa-Onilu, threw his own bombshell of a leaked security report of the PDP’s plan to deploy $111milion for vote-buying across the states under the pretence of “logistics” during the General Elections, claiming it raises new fears ahead of the forthcoming polls.
“It is now clear that the PDP has no plans to win the elections through legitimate votes, but through illegally procured votes,” the ruling party said.
Fom there, the party changes gear. It states: “Again, in the aftermath of the configured card readers recently recovered from PDP agents in some states, the PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has gone to town with face-saving conspiracies that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has imported slow-working card readers from China which will be deployed to the South South and South East which Atiku considers his “stronghold”.
“Atiku also alleges a plan to shut down communication on Election Day. How illogical that a party that is in a contest with clear superior numerical support would shutdown communication on Election Day. Will the communication shutdown affect only the PDP while leaving APC supporters and agents? Nigerians can see through the infantile lies.
“Nigerians will recall that the APC had earlier reported the PDP’s plot before last Saturday’s postponed elections. The recent arrest of several armed PDP political thugs and recovery of INEC card readers and arms from PDP agents in some states points directly to the PDP’s plan as revealed by the security report.
“Atiku has called on the president to retract his instruction to security agencies regarding violence, ballot box thieves, and other electoral malpractices. The question is how such instruction disturbs anyone that is truly interested in free, fair and credible elections. We reiterate the resolution of the Monday’s meeting of the APC expanded National Caucus which urged the security agencies to step up their activities by ensuring that all those involved in violence, ballot box snatching, falsification of results, vote-buying and other election illegalities should face the full weight of the law. It is a shame that PDP is kicking against this. We are not surprised because PDP has marshalled plans to get to power by all means possible. The option of one man one vote is not on the PDP’s table.
“Atiku has admitted what we already know that he is not popular by claiming he has two geopolitical zones while the APC has the four other geopolitical zones. On Election Day, Atiku and the PDP should prepare for the shock of their lives. The South South and South East are not oblivious of the unprecedented developmental achievements recorded in the zones under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration, compared to the PDP’s wasted years. The good people of the South South, South East and indeed all the geopolitical zones will speak through their legitimate votes, not the procured ballots planned by the PDP.
“The PDP’s illegal plot requires improved surveillance by our security agencies particularly the Department of State Services (DSS), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and allied agencies to check illicit financial flows and movement in the leadup to and on Election Day.
“On INEC’s part, following the unfortunate last-minute postponement of the election, the electoral body must realise that it has a lot to prove to the Nigerian electorate that it is still able to conduct credible elections. A first step will be that the electoral body identify and change its officers who have now beyond doubt become partisan and are actively working for partisan interests.
“Finally, PDP Tuesday’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting has achieved only one thing: Atiku and PDP sank into a new low of rudeness and incivility. They showed acute disrespect to the office of the President with the choice of words employed. This is the same office they intend to occupy.”
The looted fund are to be used by the APC to dress fake security agents, arm thugs and bribe compromised INEC officials and manipulate the elections in the various Senatorial and Federal constituencies across the country.
On the looted funds the Presidency is allegedly distributing, PDP says: “Intelligence at our disposal indicates that part of the money was sourced from alleged diversion of funds meant for the rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in various states of the federation.
“This is in addition to monies allegedly siphoned from some income generating agencies, including the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“It is indeed a callous act of wickedness and impunity that the Buhari Presidency, in its claimed integrity, would descend to the lowest level of decadence by looting of funds meant for the development and wellbeing of Nigerians to finance their rigging plots.
“At a time well-meaning leaders all over the world are exerting themselves in creating wealth for their people and developing their nations, the Buhari Presidency, which plunged the nation into a bitter economic recession, is still busy frittering our national resources to finance its vicious plots against the already impoverished citizens.
“The Buhari Presidency and the APC have further exhibited that they are inherently corrupt, pervert and have no iota of interest in the wellbeing of Nigerians.
“Such impunity and recklessness of the Buhari Presidency is directly responsible for the economic hardship, poverty and escalated bloodletting in our country in the almost four years of the Buhari administration.
“The PDP therefore charges Nigerians to be alert and continue to rally behind the people’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in the all-important quest to rescue our dear nation from the clutches of the corrupt, dictatorial and incompetent Buhari administration, which now seeks to truncate our electoral process and derail our democracy.”