Being Text Of The Press Conference Addressed By The National Publicity Secretary Of The All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Lai Mohammed, In Lagos On March 26th, 2015
Good afternoon gentlemen and thank you, once again, for honouring our invitation, despite the short notice.
With the elections just two days away, we are very concerned by the increasingly-desperate plan by the ruling PDP to rig the elections at all costs, as well as the growing cases of harassment and intimidation of our members across the country by PDP officials and candidates, using the security agencies, which are supposed to be non-partisan and professional
Out of the desperation to win the elections at all costs, the PDP has perfected a number of strategies to rig the elections, especially in the North and in the South-west.
In one last desperate move, one Alhaji Sani Musa, the owner of ACT Technologies, the company that supplied the PVCs and the Card Readers, has been arrested and detained by DSS officials since Tuesday. Perhaps, the agents of the ruling party believe he may have the codes for the Card Readers, which is preposterous. Alhaji Musa has also been accused of colluding with the APC to rig the elections, which is totally false because we at the APC do not subscribe to rigging under any guise.
Another strategy is to deploy bandits in uniform to polling units to disperse voters by force, after voter accreditation must have been completed using the Card Reader. While that is going on, armed police and soldiers will then come in, ostensibly to chase away the bandits and evacuate INEC officials and voting materials. After evacuating them to ‘safety’, they will then coerce the electoral officials to allow them, security agents that is, to cast all the ballots in the particular unit.
This strategy, to be used mostly in the PDP controlled states in the North and the South-East, will be repeated in many polling units in many states, because for each state and polling units, there is a calculated percentage which the PDP must win!
Yet another strategy, this time for APC controlled states, involves the use of carrot and stick against APC agents. The carrot involves seeking to buy the agents over with mouth-watering sums of money. If this fails, security agents and PDP thugs will simply disrupt the voting and destroy election materials.
Recall, gentlemen, that we have earlier raised the alarm about police and military uniforms being sewn in some South-west states, for the use of trained PDP thugs. The strategy we have outlined is the reason they have engaged in the uniform sewing venture.
There is also a worrisome development in the Federal Capital Territory. In at least three locations around the FCT, Jere along airport road, Karu towards Nasarawa and Kubwa road, security agents have mounted road blocks and are stopping North-bound travellers supposedly for a routine search. But the real reason is to collect PVCs from passengers who have theirs on them. Those who refuse to surrender theirs are being molested. This runs against the pledge by the government to ensure free, fair, credible and violence-free elections.
Finally, while at least three courts have ruled against the deployment of troops for election purposes, we have it on good authority that these rulings will be circumvented by deploying the troops but clothing them in DSS outfits. They will be deployed mostly to the South-west, with strict instructions to capture all states in the region, except Osun State.
We are therefore calling for vigilance by our members and supporters in the region to expose all those who will sabotage the elections.
Plan to Engage in Bombing Spree In Opposition Strongholds
Plans are afoot to carry out a bombing spree in the major towns and cities in APC-controlled states of Rivers, Lagos, Kano, Imo and Edo, with a view to scaring away voters from the polling units. Ekiti and Ondo have also been earmarked for Card Reader disruption. We are therefore using this medium to alert the general public and the international community to these evil machinations.
Harassment and Intimidation of Our Members Nationwide
Gentlemen, as we speak, our members and supporters across the country are being harassed and intimidated across the country, using the security agencies, especially the police.
Our members and supporters in Sokoto State are under siege from the PDP, using security agencies.
Former Sokoto State Governor Attahiru Barafawa has openly threatened to take the state by force.
Here is what he said, as quoted by today’s Daily Trust: “They said we are planning to rig the elections in the state; I don’t know why they are afraid of rigging when they know too well that they are products of the same mechanism. Let me tell them that we will use force, rigging and our ballot papers to send them away.”
With this open threat about rigging and the use of force, is anyone still in doubt about the plan by the PDP to disrupt the elections in Sokoto State? We asked all election monitors and observers to take note of Barafawa’s open threat.
The police and PDP thugs in Ondo State, acting under instructions from Gov Olusegun Mimiko, have laid a siege on the opposition in the state.
On Tuesday, Hon. Eniolorunda Omosule, a serving member of the House of Representatives, representing Owo/Ose Federal Constituency, was arrested and detained by the police for no reason other than to keep him away until after elections.
APC members who were staging a peaceful walk at Ukparamu Ward 1, Bolowo community of Ese-Odo Local Government Area, were attacked with machetes and brutalised by PDP thugs, sponsored by the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, with full police and army protection.
We are calling on the security chiefs to stop these harassment and intimidation and to call their men to order, before things degenerate into a free-for-all.
In Imo State, an aide of Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, who is contesting the governorship election on the platform of the PDP, sent more than 30 armed mobile policemen to invade the homes of some APC youth members in his ward at Mbutu in Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area. The policemen fired indiscriminately, smashed doors and windows and arrested some of the youths, who were detained at the Uvuru Police Station and later moved to the police headquarters in Owerri.
URGENT: And we have also just been told that all Commissioners of Police in the South-west were yesterday invited to a secret meeting in Ibadan, where they received a Presidential bribe delivered in bullion vans as incentives for them to scuttle the elections in the region by acts of intimidation, unlawful arrests, and turning a blind eye to all irregularities and illegality that the PDP may perpetrate during Saturday’s elections. The Minister of Police Affairs, Abduljelili Adesiyan, one of the star actors in Ekitigate, also attended the meeting
BREAKING NEWS: We have this breaking news that all serving military personnel and their wives, as well as everyone residing in the barracks across the country, who are eligible to vote, will NOT be allowed to exercise their franchise on Saturday. We do not know the reason behind this, but it runs against the grain of international best practices in elections. For elections anywhere to be credible, they must be free, fair and peaceful,.and all Nigerians who are eligible to vote must be able to do so, without fear or intimidation.
Gentlemen, all that we have enumerated above are just a few instances of what is happening across the country, with less 48 hours to Saturday’s elections.
These things are happening despite the assurances by the Jonathan Administration, given even as late as yesterday, to ensure a free, fair, transparent and peaceful elections. They are also happening despite the pledge by the Inspector-General of Police and the Service Chiefs to provide security for the elections.
We are seriously concerned because it seems the PDP-led Jonathan government has decided to anchor their rigging plans on the use of security agencies, which are institutions of state that should not only be fair and neutral, but protect all Nigerians, irrespective of their party affiliations.
The reason this is happening is because no one has yet been held to account for Ekitigate, where security personnel, including policemen, soldiers, DSS and Civil Defence agents – all of whom we have their names, service numbers and telephone numbers – were wantonly used to rig the June 21st governorship elections.
We sincerely hope that, in spite of their oath of office, the security chiefs have not jettisoned every appearance of impartiality ahead of Saturday’s election. We
We hope that as Commanders of Men and Material, they would bear FAITHFUL ALLEGIANCE to the OATH they took as Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We also believe that they will ensure the same for all those under their Command.
Again, we call on all Nigerians in general and our members and supporters in particular to be extra vigilant before, during and after the elections, while eschewing violence and refusing to be provoked at all times.
We also called on all election observers and monitors, both local and foreign, to take a special interest in the role of the security agencies during the elections, in view of the various instances we have cited above.
Gentlemen, I thank you for your time
Alhaji Lai Mohammed
National Publicity Secretary
All Progressives Congress (APC)
Lagos, March 26th 2015