By Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary and Director, Media & Publicity
PDP Presidential Campaign Organization
Gentlemen of the press, yesterday, we raised the alarm on how the Muhammadu Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) rented and smuggled in a crowd of aliens from Niger Republic to populate Mr. President’s campaign rally in Kano state, after they could not mobilize Nigerians to attend.
President Buhari and the APC, in their desperation have compromised our territorial integrity as a nation and this portends grave danger to our national security and the sanctity of our electoral process.
For a nation contending with insurgency and banditry, the involvement of mercenaries from neighboring countries in the APC rally must be condemned by all and sundry. This is particularly against the backdrop of claims by President Buhari that killer herdsmen ravaging our nation are mercenaries who are infiltrating from the Sahel region.
Nigerians can now see the unfolding of the plots by agents the APC to use mercenaries from neighboring countries to precipitate crisis with the aim of scuttling the 2019 general election, having realized that they cannot win in a free, fair and credible election.
Now we understand the weight of the submission by the National Security Adviser (NSA) Maj. Gen. Babagana Mongunu (rtd) when he stated recently that; “unscrupulous elements are already mobilising merchants of violence, including armed bandits and terrorists to orchestrate violence during the elections in several states of the federation”.
Similarly, Nigerians can also decode the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, when he stated recently that; “there is also an international dimension to the evil plan. Some armed mercenaries from the Niger Republic have been contracted to attack top government functionaries, including state governors, across the North-west between now and the elections.”
Today, Nigerians need no further evidence of those planning evil against our nation.
Already, there are apprehensions that miscreants who came from Niger Republic to President Buhari’s rally are being offered accommodation in our country by the APC to unleash violence immediately it is clear that President Buhari is losing in the February 16 presidential election.
On account of these, PDP demands an urgent and thorough investigation into the circumstances leading to the presence of politicians and thugs from Niger Republic at the APC presidential rally in Kano on Thursday.
The APC and the Buhari Presidency must immediately explain the roles being played by Issa Moussa, Governor of Zinder and his counterpart from Maradi, Zakiri Umar both of the Niger Republic, who were sighted decked in the attires and official logos of the APC, in our political affairs.
Our security agencies must immediately investigate and lay in the public domain the circumstances leading to their presence, which more or less confirms that the APC has lost all domestic credibility and has assumed a desperate mode.
The presence of the Niger Republic Governors at President Buhari’s rally signposts a direct assault on the credibility of the Presidential elections. This is particularly against the backdrop of INEC’s plans to allow Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in that country to vote in our election, a situation that opens the way for aliens to infiltrate as IDPs and participate in our elections.
Our apprehensions are accentuated by INEC’s recent mass creation of additional polling units which have not been properly designated and which may be deployed for the perpetuation of monumental electoral fraud. We note how Kano State, in 2015, delivered 1.9 million votes to the APC presidential candidate in circumstances devoid of transparency and credulity.
Moreover, the promise by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state to deliver five million votes to Presidential Buhari in the 2019 elections is predicated on the unfettered opening of our international borders to foreign political interests.
What was the true purpose of the invitation of these foreigners to the APC rally in Kano on Thursday? What secret deals did APC leaders make with them at the expense of our national security?
It begs the question how a Government that vilified credible international bodies that genuinely advised on the need for a free and fair election, as interfering in our elections, would now be spending public resources rent political mercenaries from neighbouring countries.
We know that APC’s jettisoning of our territorial integrity and national security to hire crowds from Niger Republic is borne out of frustration over the recent successes and massive turn out of supporters at PDP rallies held in the North West.
The spontaneous and mammoth turnouts of supporters and admirers of the PDP as well as the people’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, even in the APC’s supposed strongholds in the North West states of Kaduna, Jigawa, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi and Kano, has no doubt, discomfited the APC and its Presidential candidate.
The PDP holds that the 2019 general election is only for Nigerians. There is no way our citizens will allow foreigners to participate in our electoral process.
We therefore call on all Nigerians irrespective of creed, ethnicity and political affiliations to rise in total condemnation of this direct assault on our territorial integrity as a nation. Our citizens must henceforth be at alert and get prepared to defend the sovereignty of our nation, which President Buhari and the APC, in their desperation, are ready to trade away.
▪ Mr. Ologbondiyan presented this text at a press conference in Abuja on Friday.