ABUJA—The ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, engaged in a brawl, yesterday, over alleged plot by government to surreptitiously deposit a huge amount of money into the bank account of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega in the name of APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
The opposition first raised the alarm of the plot, alleging that this was to justify the plan to sack Prof. Jega and stop him from organising the elections. The ruling party, however, countered the APC allegation, accusing the APC of scaremongering and trying to derail what it may have perceived as moves by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to subject Tinubu to scrutiny over alleged infractions.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed at a press conference in Lagos, yesterday, insisted that desperation on the part of the PDP had led it to new plots in its determination to either scuttle the elections or make them neither free nor fair.
Flanked by Mallam Garba Shehu, spokesman to the APC presidential candidate, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (Retd), Mohammed said: “Indications are that those at the helms have grown so desperate that they do not even want the elections to hold. And even if the elections must hold at all, they must be held on their own terms: No PVCs, no Card Readers, no Jega, and the military must be deployed to intimidate voters!”
Observing that many Nigerians were not ignorant of the moves, Mohammed proceeded to roll out 10 plots he described as ‘evil plots’ allegedly being pushed by the PDP to frustrate free and fair polls.
Mohammed alleged thus: *There is a plot to transfer a humongous amount of money into the bank account of the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, and then claim that the money came from Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the APC in order to justify the ongoing plan to sack Prof. Jega so he won’t organize the elections.
*Beyond Jega, there is also a plan to credit the bank accounts of some key national institutions with huge amounts of money purportedly from our party, the APC, ostensibly to compromise those institutions.
*There is plan to use some political parties that are satellites of the PDP to push for the postponement of the elections again. The plot is to get the parties to address a press conference to say the elections should not hold in the North-east until Sept. 2015 because of the ongoing counter-insurgency battle there. The intention is to make sure Jega’s tenure expires before the polls, so that they can appoint a malleable card-carrying member of the PDP as INEC Chair to conduct the polls.
*There is a plan to use the security agencies to intimidate key opposition leaders as well as the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and telecommunications service providers to disrupt voice and data transmission, especially in APC strongholds, on election day.
“As we have said earlier, the telephones of our leaders have been bugged, and their movements are being daily monitored. Top on the list of the security agencies to be used against the opposition is the DSS, which will be used to compel all Resident Electoral Commissioners in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory to hand over the names and telephone numbers of all INEC’s regular and ad hoc staff who will conduct the elections, as part of the Jonathan Administration’s rigging plans.
“It is no longer news that a signal has been sent to all state commands of the DSS to get the list of all INEC Returning Officers and Ad hoc Staff before March 10.”
He continued: *There is also the ongoing illegal recruitment of over 500 new cadets into one of the country’s security outfits, 50% of whom are from the home state of the outfit’s top brass, in violation of the provisions of the Constitution, especially as the recruitment does not reflect the Federal Character.
*Nocturnal meetings are being held between various heads of national security agencies and the leadership of the PDP to undermine the coming elections
*The Presidency has retained the services of two Israelis and a Belgian who are currently holed up in the Aso Rock Villa to hack and corrupt INEC computers on election day, with the trio having already been paid 25 per cent of their contract fees upfront.
Card reader, etc
*There is an ongoing effort to compromise the card reader, which the Jonathan Administration sees as inimical to its rigging plans.
*Huge funds are being provided for retired and serving security personnel to buy up PVCs, with the hope that they can be used once the card reader is compromised. Remember, gentlemen that there is a case in court seeking to declare the use of the card reader in the forthcoming elections unconstitutional.
*In the days leading up to the elections, the Jonathan Administration is planning to give the opposition the Ekiti treatment by massively arresting key opposition leaders, with a view to destabilizing their ranks, putting them away and paving the way for a free rein of their rigging agents. Towards this end, thousands of signed blank detention orders have been procured.
* As part of the plan to implicate our leaders, illegal substances may be put into their checked-in luggage during local and international flights. That is why we are calling on our leaders to travel only with their carry-on baggage.”
Mohammed rejected submissions that the party was raising a false alarm as he affirmed that all previous claims of the party, including the plot to postpone the election came to pass.
APC thrives on lies — PDP
Responding to the allegations, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh in a statement said the APC had again confirmed the ruling party’s assertion that the opposition party thrived on lies.
“Indeed, Nigerians are not surprised at the contents of the recent false alarms by the APC as they are undoubtedly a reflection of the character, inner thoughts and ideology of its leaders. These ignoble ideas are clearly incompatible with the ideology of the PDP and President Jonathan who has over time demonstrated the qualities of a true democrat and not a reformed one”, the party said.
“The PDP noted that the opposition in its penchant for falsehood failed to realize that under the current financial system, it is practically impossible to transfer the so-called humongous amount of money into any bank account without the source being traced by relevant independent financial monitoring bodies like the EFCC.
“In any case, we note that the allegation by APC is suspect and betrays an attempt to cover-up. We ask, is it that the APC has already been paying monies into accounts of INEC officials and some institutions of government with a view to compromising them and is now using the allegation as a subterfuge to distract the financial monitoring agencies and cover its tracks?
“We challenge the APC to come out clear on the actual link between its leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, whose antecedents and reputation are well known to all and the said transfer plot? Was Tinubu’s name also dropped by the APC as a strategy to pre-empt findings by anti-graft agencies in a bid to cover a crime?
“Whilst we note that nothing is beyond a desperate party like the APC, which has continued to manifest its crass lack of integrity, we charge relevant agencies to immediately investigate the allegations and possibly unravel its evil plots.
“We have also noted the hues and cries of the opposition regarding the issue of PVCs and Card readers for the elections but Nigerians are not short in their memory to recall that it is not the PDP but APC that had issues with security agencies over attempts to hack into INEC’s database and to clone the PVCs.
“It is also not the PDP but the APC that has complicities with some compromised INEC officials on biased distribution of PVCs in select states especially, Lagos and other APC states,” the PDP said.
The ruling party also debunked allegations of plans to use security agencies to intimidate or implicate opposition leaders describing such as “part of APC’s worn out antics of attempting to use nuisance alarm to heat up the system having failed to articulate credible manifesto to secure genuine followership among Nigerians.
“Nigerians are aware that this is not the first time the opposition would be raising such alarms just for Nigerians to find out that they are lies. We have here a group of people who are being haunted by failure and self-inflicted woes. APC has all along been deluding itself as a government in waiting with some phantom popular image it created for itself in the social media. Now that reality has dawned it in the face, it has resorted to deploying all manners of antics in a failed attempt to win the sympathy of Nigerians”, it said.
Restating its readiness for the March 28 and April 11 elections, the ruling party said: “APC’s resort to wild allegations and baseless utterances are aimed at causing confusion, a clear indication that the opposition is indeed scared of the elections, having been exposed in their deceit, empty promises and apparent lack of capacity to lead the nation.”