Alleged Plan To Rig Kogi Election: PDP On Fruitless Journey To “Destroy” National Institutions – Presidency
President Muhammadu Buhari has stressed the need for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the police to ensure the November 21 governorship election in Kogi State is free, fair and credible as well as violence-free.
The president stated this at a meeting he had with the leadership of INEC and others, a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Garba Shehu said.
The Presidency was reacting to the allegation by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Sunday that it had uncovered a sinister plot by the All Progressives Congress-led federal government, the INEC and police to rig the forthcoming gubernatorial poll in Kogi, describing the move as a “coup” against democracy.
“We alert all to be aware of this planned ‘coup’ against democracy again, by the now ‘new sheriff’, who though, being the biggest beneficiary of free and fair election in the history of Nigeria, is now out to corrupt the electoral system and destroy our democracy, all in the obsession to foist a one-party state in the country.
“Intelligence information available to us shows that at the meeting with the new INEC leadership under Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the commission was given orders regarding the posting of compromised personnel to strategic areas in the state to manipulate the card readers as well as the actual voting process in favour of the APC, with assurance of adequate protection by government security agencies, particularly the Directorate of State Services (DSS).
“We are aware that in another meeting also held in Abuja, the Presidency directed summoned security officials to ensure that the forces are maximally used to intimidate the people with a view to pave way for compromised INEC officials to manipulate the process, alter ballot figures and announce doctored results”, a statement by the PDP spokesman, Chief Olisa Metuh, read in part.
Reacting to the allegation, Buhari’s spokesman said it is “mischievous” for the PDP to read meanings into a well-intended meeting.
In a statement, Shehu said: “The president called the meeting cited by the PDP to warn, in particular, the INEC and the police to do prepare well and give the nation a credible election. He said he expected nothing short of a free, fair and credible election.
“He said he had suffered election manipulation in 2003, 2007 and 2011 and would not like to have any Nigerian to go through that again.
“He warned against the intimidation of voters in any way and vowed that he was prepared to move with all the forces available to him against anyone who undermines the rights of any citizen.
“The meeting was short and straight to the point. It ended after five minutes. He asked Vice President Yemi Osinbajo if he had anything to say and he added nothing”.
The Presidency, however, warned against what it termed the PDP’s recurring tendencies to pull down national institutions under the guise of playing the role of opposition to the government.
It added: “Nigerians should be wary of the PDP’s fruitless attempts to destroy national institutions President Buhari is determined to rebuild”.
“They started with the courts, the EFCC, then the police and now they are on the one-week old INEC. When will PDP allow our national institutions to do their job?” Shehu asked.