The leadership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party has dissociated itself from the raging controversy over the Ekiti rigging audio tape in which some senior members of the party were heard perfecting plans on how to rig the June 2014 governorship election held in the state.
In the said recording, the PDP governorship candidate, who later went on to win the election, Ayodele Fayose; a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, former Senator Iyiola Omisore and other individuals, were heard discussing with a serving Brigadier General of the Nigerian Army, Aliyu Momoh, on how to use the military to clampdown on members of the opposition as well as rig the election in the state.
Most of the actors captured in the audio recording have since confirmed attending the nocturnal meeting, but they all denied their discussion centered on election rigging.
In an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, said those mentioned in the scandal did not carry out the purported rigging scheme on behalf of the party.
He said the party does not want to get involved in the controversy triggered by the leaked audion recording and would rather prefer that those mentioned in connection with the matter absolve themselves.
“Any tape whether real or imaginary can be concocted in this digital world; we don’t know what is real and what is not”, Mr Metuh said. “I also believe that the actors in their personal capacity will be able to talk about what really happened.
“As a political party, we have never engaged in planning or getting involved in any conspiracy to rig elections or alter the will of the people”, Mr. Metuh added.
He also said the ruling party has so far demonstrated maturity in elections held in the last two years.
Mr. Metuh, who admitted that he was yet to listen to the recording, however, questioned its authenticity.
“We had elections in five states in the last two years, PDP won in only one state; how comes it’s just that one that we won, that a tape is suddenly surfacing to say we planned rigging.
“Why did we not plan rigging in Edo, Ondo, Anambra and Osun? How comes the only one that we won is the one they want to tarnish? It is a calculated attempt to sway the minds of Nigerians that the PDP is not capable of winning in a free and fair election.
“Our people are even raising the fact that we were rigged out in Osun; but we are not engaged in propaganda, we are not engaged in manufacturing tapes. We won election in Ekiti state because of the love of our party, and the massive support that our gubernatorial candidate, Ayo Fayose, enjoys in the entire state”, he maintained.
The PDP spokesperson, however, said the Ekiti tape saga is just another propaganda by the opposition, saying if the APC is sure of the authenticity of the tape, it should approach the law courts to seek redress.
“In this era of campaign, where you have a lot of propaganda, anybody with any concrete evidence can go to either the law enforcement agencies or the law courts to seek redress.
“For us, we are more involved in the campaign than propaganda; our first thought actually is that it is simply just propaganda, it is only the court that can decide if on the matter of Ekiti election, just like the tribunal and court of appeal have decided. If they think there is fresh evidence, they can go to court”, he said.