By Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity.
The Presidency has advised the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to stop raising false alarms in order to gain public sympathy and divert attention from its abysmal past record and failures.
They should, instead, address the concerns raised about their role in the mass data harvesting at the heart of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, following the revelation that they hacked into Candidate Muhammadu Buhari’s personal data in the run up to the 2015 general elections.
Nothing undermines a country’s democracy as such unfair practices.
That is why President Nixon resigned to avoid impeachment when they hacked into the opposition, Democratic Party records, and this is why a Special Counsel is investigating the alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election, and if President Donald Trump’s campaign is complicit in the attempted subversion of democracy in that country.
The PDP’s decision to drag the All Progressives Congress (APC) and INEC to the United Nations over alleged plan or plot to rig the 2019 general elections are not only laughable and puerile, but they also demonstrate the level of desperation that is haunting the opposition leaders.
President Muhammadu Buhari is passionately committed to free and fair elections in the country and for a man who joined forces with local and international observers to ensure a free and fair election which brought him to power in 2015, the President would under no circumstances tolerate any attempt to derail constitutional democracy.
The outcome of the gubernatorial elections in Edo, Ondo and Anambra States stand as clear examples of President Buhari’s commitment to free and fair elections in the country, and Nigerians should indeed be wary of PDP’s desperate propaganda.
For the PDP to be preaching free and fair elections is like a street-walker preaching about chastity.
We must recall that the PDP postponed the 2015 general elections in the guise of national security challenges because defeat was staring it starkly in the face. However, despite the delay tactics, it was resoundingly defeated when the polls finally held.
The PDP has lost every moral ground and it is mortally afraid of facing the 2019 general elections because Nigerians will always remember their past and punish them one more time for economically plundering the country.
The Cambridge Analytica hacking scandal committed against Candidate Buhari by the PDP in 2015 in which billions of Naira was paid out to the Israelis and others hackers has shown that the former ruling party lacks both the integrity and credibility to talk about election rigging.
Instead of explaining their role in the scandal, the nation is greeted by stunning silence. Do they think this will simply blow away?
Rigging is PDP’s main area of core competence and its party leaders are drowning men who won’t mind clutching at any straw for political survival.
By dragging the United Nations into its political propaganda, the PDP is indirectly suggesting that it is afraid to face the voters in 2019.
Rather than hiding behind allegations of a plot to rig the elections, the opposition party should work harder to win back the trust of voters instead of spreading false alarm to gain international sympathy.
It is unfortunate that the PDP is desperately trying all dirty tricks, including the exploitation of tragedy, for political advantage.