By Emmanuel Mogbede
Mr Adams Oshiomhole, the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, has said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is not ready to win elections through legitimate votes, but through illegally procured votes and thuggery.
He stated this on Tuesday in Abuja at a news conference while reacting to a critical statement made by Atiku Abubakar, the PDP Presidential Candidate on President Muhammadu Buhari’s riot act to thugs and ballot box snatchers.
President Buhari at the APC expanded National Caucus meeting on Monday, warned that any politician that sponsored thugs or ballot box snatchers, would be dealt with by security operatives.
The President said that security operatives have been instructed to deal with such persons.
Oshiomhole said no responsible candidate or individual should find fault in the President’s directive, adding that it is only candidates who rely on thuggery that would fault it.
“Atiku has called on the President to retract his instruction to security agencies regarding violence, ballot box thieves, and other electoral malpractices.
“The question is how such instruction disturbs anyone that is truly interested in free, fair and credible elections,” Oshiomhole said and described PDP and Atiku’s reactions as shameful.
Oshiomhole said the APC was not surprised because PDP has marshalled plans to get to power by all means possible.
The APC national chairman said that the option of one man one vote is not on PDP’s table.
He said Atiku by his statement has admitted that he is not popular by recently claiming that he had two geopolitical zones while the APC has four other geopolitical zones.
Oshiomhole stressed that Atiku and the PDP should prepare for the shock of their lives on the election day.
“The South South and South East are not oblivious of the unprecedented developmental achievements recorded in the zones under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration,”he said.
This contrasts with PDP’s wasted years in government.
He maintained that the good people of the South-South, South-East and all the geopolitical zones would speak through their legitimate votes, not the procured ballots planned by the PDP.
Oshiomhole noted that in the aftermath of the configured card readers recently recovered from PDP agents in some states, its presidential candidate, Atiku, had gone to town with face-saving conspiracies that the APC had imported slow-working card readers from China.
He said Atiku claimed that the card readers would be deployed to the South-South and South-East which Atiku considers his stronghold.
Oshiomhole wondered how Atiku got to know where the card readers were made, if he does not have informants in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He debunked allegations by Atiku that the APC planned to shut down communication network on election days.
Oshiomhole said it was illogical that a party that was in a contest with clear superior numerical support would shut down communication on election day, as this would not only affect the PDP.
He recalled that the APC had earlier reported the PDP’s plot before last Saturday’s postponed elections by the INEC national chairman.
“The recent arrest of several armed PDP political thugs and recovery of INEC card readers and arms from PDP agents in some states point directly to the PDP’s plan as revealed by the security reports,” Oshiomhole said.
PDP’s illegal plot requires improved surveillance by security agencies, particularly the Department of State Services (DSS), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and allied agencies, Oshiomhole suggested.
He urged the agencies to check illicit financial flows and movement in the PDP camp in the run-up to the general elections.
Oshiomhole also said that following the postponement of the elections, there was need for INEC to identify and change its officers who have now, beyond doubt, become partisan and are actively working for partisan interest.