The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has vowed to mobilise Nigerians to resist rigging and defend their votes in Saturday’s presidential election.
This, according to the main opposition party, is meant to counter alleged plots by the Presidency and the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig the February 16 presidential election.
At a media briefing in Abuja Sunday, spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said President Buhari and the APC have been uncomfortable with the consensus by Nigerians across the board, to vote in its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, as the next President of the country.
“The PDP has resolved therefore to unbridle, in full measure, all defence machinery legitimately available to us, including our numerical strength, in marching with millions of Nigerians across our nation to defend our votes, with the stiffest resistance, ever, against any infraction by the APC and the Buhari Presidency.
“In this regard, the PDP charges all its members and supporters, in their millions, to politically occupy and become extra vigilant by closely monitoring all electoral activities around their polling centres.
“Our members and supporters are hereby directed to get prepared to arrive at their polling centres very early on the day of election; monitor the activities of electoral officers, note all strange faces and resist any attempt by any alien or unregistered person to vote.
“Our members and supporters are further directed to remain at the polling centres after casting their votes, monitor the collation of results, use all means available to defend all our votes to the last and ensure that no result is altered.
“In this determination, the PDP is ready to confront the Buhari-controlled security forces and APC thugs, head to head, at all levels. For this, we charge our members and supporters to use every means available to them legitimately in a democracy to defend themselves and resist all acts of intimidation by the APC”, Ologbondiyan said.
The party charged its members and supporters across the federation to continue to be at alert and await further directives ahead of the elections.
Accusing the President Buhari and the APC of desperate moves to rig the polls, the PDP said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lacked the will to conduct credible, free and fair elections.
The party recalled its February 4, 2019 demand on INEC to, within 48 hours, make public, for the purpose of verification by stakeholders, the Commission’s lists of officials and ad hoc staff that will play any form of role in the conduct of the presidential election.
Ologbondiyan said the demand on INEC was predicated on findings that the INEC leadership, in deference to directives by the Presidency and the APC, had collected lists of APC loyalists from APC state governors and candidates, across the federation to serve as electoral officials, including ad-hoc staff and returning officers at the polling units.
He continued, “You will recall that upon our demand, the APC openly directed INEC to ignore the PDP and go ahead with its compromised list. Shockingly, the INEC leadership appeared to have obeyed the APC, ostensibly because of threats by the party to give its leadership the ‘Onnoghen treatment’ if it fails to comply.
“The world is already aware of how INEC has continued to allow the foisting of a relation of President Muhammadu Buhari, Mrs. Amina Zakari, as the head of the INEC collation centre, where she is being positioned to alter results and allocate figures to President Buhari and the APC, in spite of the public outrage against such.
“This is in addition to how the Buhari Presidency has been importing mercenaries from Chad and Niger Republic to vote for President Buhari and to unleash violence in our country upon his eventual defeat”.
The opposition party spokesman also alerted of plots to manipulate the smart card readers, with the view to substituting biometric accreditation with manual verification and pave way for mass rigging and allocation of fictitious votes for President Buhari.
“In the light of this, the PDP declares that it will never allow the Buhari Presidency, the APC as well as Amina Zakari to have their way against our nation.
“The entire world is aware that Nigerians have reached an irrevocable consensus on Atiku Abubakar as the next President of our country. This is why they are rallying with the people’s candidate. We are set for the election and we will resist every attempt to rig us out”, the party added.
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