The All Progressives Congress has accused the President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration of sponsoring ethnic militias to foment trouble before, during and after the forthcoming general elections.
The opposition party hinged its claim on the N9bn reportedly paid out to some ex-militants and ethnic militias recently, as settlement to scuttle the polls.
APC made the allegation via a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
According to the party, the protests by members of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, last week, seeking the sacking of INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, was orchestrated by the federal administration as part of its continuing efforts to sabotage the elections.
It said the next group that had been mobilised to protest against Jega and the use of card readers for the polls was the Oodua Peoples Congress, which is also a beneficiary of the N9bn payout, “ostensibly for pipeline protection, but in reality to prepare the ethnic militias for their reprehensible role in scuttling the elections”.
The statement alleged that more ethnic militias were to be enlisted by the Jonathan administration to continue the protest against Jega and the card reader, which it said was to give the impression that Nigerians want the INEC boss sacked and are also against the use of card reader.
The party expressed sadness that a president, who inherited a united nation, had done everything he could to divide the country along ethnic and religious lines, including allegedly patronizing ethnic militias, to champion sectional interests at the expense of national unity.
It wondered why the president would pay N9bn to a handful of people at a time of great economic downturn and falling Naira, as well as in a situation in which many states could not even afford to pay their workers because of dwindling allocations from the federation account.
“A profligate government that has been bribing people with dollars and ferrying huge funds around practically to buy votes has outdone itself by paying out all of N9bn to a few Nigerians, with less than three weeks to the elections.
“Shortly after the payment, some self-serving groups started organising protests that, for all intents and purposes, are being orchestrated to scuttle the polls. This is a shameful show by the Federal Government”, APC said.