By Segun Adewole
The Peoples Democratic Party has blamed the ruling All Progressives Congress for the attacks on the facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The PDP, in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, on Wednesday, said the APC, having realised that it had been rejected, “has commenced its violent attacks to frustrate the conduct of the elections.”
The party said the attacks were in line with the directive issued by the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, to his party members that “political power is not going to be served in a restaurant, it is not served a la carte. It is what we are doing; It is being determined; you do it at all cost; fight for it, grab it, snatch it and run with it.”
The PDP said in response to Tinubu’s directive, APC leaders and members have now activated plots to derail the electoral process through orchestrated violent attacks in various states of the country aimed to trigger a nationwide security emergency situation, instill fear and make it appear inconducive to conduct elections in the country.
“Part of the plot is the current attacks on the facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission in various parts of the country as witnessed in Ogun, Osun and Imo states, where sections critical to the conduct of elections, particularly those connected to the collection of Permanent Voters Cards, were targeted and destroyed.
“Also, our party has been made aware of plans by the APC to orchestrate attacks in other states particularly Kogi and Delta; some states of the South-East as well as parts of the North with the view to subverting the electoral process in as many states as possible.
“Intelligence available to our party indicates that the attack on INEC facilities is to prevent newly registered voters from collecting their PVCs; destroy the PVCs so that they will not be available for collection in INEC offices, and thirdly, destroy INEC equipment and cripple its capacity to conduct elections.
“In addition, the APC has introduced a very disturbing dimension of “purchasing” PVCs from unsuspecting Nigerians through monetary inducement masquerading as empowerment programmes.
“In any case, our party is not surprised at the resort to violence by Tinubu and the APC; a clear acceptance of electoral defeat which apparently accounts for the APC’s presidential candidate’s decision to boycott the signing of the National Peace Accord by presidential candidates in the 2023 elections,” the statement read in part.
The party said it was apparent and disturbing that the APC presidential candidate had not issued any caution against the many acts of violence linked to members of his party.
“His body language and comments suggest the condoning of the ongoing violence on our electoral process.
“Of course, the London meeting where Tinubu directed his party members to unleash violence on Nigerians was a closed-door event that inadvertently leaked to the public. The aim of the APC was to hit our nation with violence and mislead security agencies to direct their investigation on criminal elements and social restiveness, instead of the real culprit, the APC.
“The design is to create tension across the country to validate a narrative that elections cannot hold, then orchestrate a Constitutional crisis with a view to justifying a shifting of the elections and perpetuate certain APC elements in office beyond May 29, 2023,” the party said.
The PDP then alerted security agencies to take immediate steps to investigate and stop the APC “on its vicious plot to derail our democratic process.”
Source: The Punch