The All Progressives Congress, APC, has alleged that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in cahoots with security agencies, are planning to replicate the strategy allegedly used in the June 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State, to manipulate the general elections, slated for March 28 and April 11, 2015.
The National Publicity Secretary of APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at a press conference in Lagos on Monday, alleged that the PDP-led, Goodluck Jonathan administration had finalized plans to “manipulate the elections, using what we call the Modified Ekiti Rigging Strategy”.
Mohammed referred to the leaked audio recording where an alleged rigging strategy of the Ekiti governorship election was reportedly perfected.
The APC spokesman said, “It is no longer news that a Captain in the Nigerian Army, Sagir Koli, has exposed how the administration used the military to rig the governorship election in Ekiti on June 21, 2014. According to Capt. Sagir, soldiers were put at the behest of designated PDP officials at each of the 16 local governments in the state to work with the officials to rig the elections.
“Once the PDP officials pointed out any APC leader in a particular local government, such leader was either arrested and detained or simply hounded into hiding. APC leaders, who were arrested, also had the funds in their possession, including money to pay party agents and for other logistics, confiscated as they were detained till well after the election”.
He added that fresh facts had started emerging on the alleged election rigging scam in Ekiti State, saying aside the officials of the Nigerian Army, other security agencies were also involved in the manipulation of the governorship poll.
Mohammed said, “We have additional information to give you on what has now become Ekitigate. Contrary to the general belief, it was not just the military that was involved. It was the entire gamut of the nation’s security agencies: The police, the State Security Service and the Civil Defence (National Security and Civil Defence Corps).
“They were all constituted into a task force that was deployed in each local government and placed under the command of the PDP. We have the names of all the servicemen involved in the criminal act as well as their service and telephones numbers.
“On the morning of the Ekiti election, not one APC leader was a free man or woman. They were either in detention, in hiding or on the run, because the task force carried out its duty with brutal efficiency.
“In view of the global outcry over the Ekiti show of shame, there is a plan to slightly modify it for Saturday’s election, hence what we have now termed the Modified Ekiti Rigging Strategy. Since indications are that the military is no longer willing to be used for such an illegal act, and other security agencies know they will be under the searchlight on election days, those who are averse to a free, fair, credible and violence-free polls have simply come up with the plan to sow military and police uniforms for their party thugs to wear on election day so they can rig the elections for the PDP!
“A large number of uniformed personnel on Election Day will be those donning fake uniforms and ranks, and their mandate will be to rig for the PDP and terrorise opposition members and supporters”.
The opposition party’s spokesman further accused the Federal Government of funding ethnic militias across the country under the guise of pipeline contract.
He added, “They have also mobilised ethnic militias across the country: MASSOB in the South East; OPC in the South West and ex-militants in the Niger Delta. Mobilised under the pretext of a N9bn pipeline contract, the marching order given to the ethnic militias is to destabilise the election in their respective regions, thus rendering it inconclusive.
“After all, the PDP knows it cannot win a free, fair and peaceful election. The highly disruptive and armed protest by the OPC in Lagos last Monday was a dress rehearsal for the plot.
“Also, thugs have been trained in several South Western States, particularly Ondo and Ogun States, to disrupt the coming elections. In Ondo State, training was organised by the PDP new leadership in Ilaje/Okitipupa zone. These thugs, numbering over 300, were given two weeks training in weapons use under a Commander/President called Miti. They have now been moved in 12 buses to join the Ogun State group from where they will be dispatched to other states in the South-West, with arms”.
Mohammed added, “For the Northern part of the country, the plot is to deploy the Special Forces, who were trained in Belarus, to the liberated territories in the North East, ostensibly to hold the liberated territories, but in reality, to rig the election for the PDP.
“Also, Vice President Namadi Sambo has met with security chiefs in Kaduna with a request that they must deliver two million votes to the PDP anyhow, with promises of mouth-watering incentives include cash and promotion”.
He also alleged that the Inspector-General of Police and the Service Chiefs had been brought into the plot to rig the polls in favour of the ruling party.
Mohammed said, “You will recall the unlawful warning issued by the IGP urging voters to cast their ballot and immediately leave the polling units. A similar order is expected to be issued by the Chief of Army Staff ahead of the election, and the orders are aimed at harassing and intimidating voters as well as ensuring they do not stay around to prevent the PDP rigging plans.
“We urge Nigerians to ignore such unlawful directives which are not grounded in the Electoral Act, as pointed out by the INEC Chairman. Nigerians must not only vote, they must stay behind to protect their votes. Without being disruptive, they should use their phone cameras to document proceedings at the various polling booths, so that no one will tamper with their votes. All they are required to do is to conduct themselves peacefully.
“We are here to sound the alarm loud and clear: We will not accept a repeat of the Ekiti rigging strategy in any form, modified or not.
“Voters must not be harassed or intimidated and they must be allowed to defend their votes, as supported by the Electoral Act. Those who are bent on rigging the elections must know that Nigeria will be under a global spotlight on Election Day. No polling booth, no matter where it is located, will escape that spotlight”.