The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the military high command of being in a dangerous alliance with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to subvert the democratic will of the people.
Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the APC Chairman, John Oyegun, also accused the PDP of planning with the military to intimidate voters in APC states to rig elections in favour of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Still bitterly disappointed that the elections were postponed, the opposition party, while alleging a conspiracy between the Nigerian military and the President, also warned that a constitutional crisis might be brewing.
On Sunday, the APC presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) warned that the party would not tolerate any further postponement of the elections from March 28 and April 11.
Buhari perceived the election postponement to be as a result of pressure from the opposition. “It is important to note that although INEC acted within its constitutional powers, it is clear that it has been boxed into a situation where it had to bow to pressure,” he said.
“What they (security forces) cannot do in 6 years, they cannot do in 6 weeks,” Buhari emphasised.
However, the PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Olisa Metuh, on Sunday, said that the postponement neither confers advantage on the PDP and its candidates nor can it be described as a setback to the country’s democracy as the APC described it.
Addressing members of the press in Abuja, Mr Olisa Metuh said that the shift has not come without a cost to the party, but that the decision would be supported, as it is clearly a practical decision that has been made after careful deliberation.
While these allegations raised by the APC are troubling and do not augur well for the country, Nigerians and the entire world are looking to the Nigerian Presidency to see how it can convince Nigerians that it is willing and able to conduct a smooth transition.
Army Dismisses Claims
In a swift reaction, the Nigerian military has condemned what it calls an attempt by the APC to drag the armed forces into politics.
The Director of Defense Information, Brigadier-General Chris Olukolade, says their is no plot by the Nigerian military to engage in or encourage any rigging of the forthcoming elections.
“To the best of my knowledge, I’m not aware of any plot involving the military and the Presidency.
“Our mandate is clear, which is to defend the constitution and the corporate entity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and anything other than this does not fall within our core mandate,” he said.
The Army Spokesman then reassured the nation that the military would do all within it powers to ensure that the fight against the insurgents is brought to a conclusion within six weeks of an intensive operation in the north-east.