The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Sunday engaged each other in a scolding match.
While the APC mocked the PDP for its decision to still hold its national convention in Port Harcourt despite the threat by Governor Nyesom Wike, the PDP condemned the Presidency and the opposition party for allegedly posting fictitious figures as votes secured by President Muhammadu Buhari at the APC Presidential primary.
The APC National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, had suggested in a statement on Sunday in response to PDP’s decision to still hold its convention in Port Harcourt, that the Rivers State governor, Wike is now the sole administrator of the PDP.
Nabena said that Wike since assuming office after the “disputed 2015 Rivers State governorship election, has assumed the role of de facto PDP national chairman, sole administrator, spokesman, organising secretary and BoT (Board of Trustees) chairman, the acting National Publicity Secretary of the PDP”.
He wondered how Wike could still have his way after threatening Senate President Bukola Saraki, other PDP presidential aspirants and leaders to “teach them a bitter lesson” if they “dared” to oppose his decision to host the PDP national convention in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
He said it was no secret that Governor Wike’s persistence on Port Harcourt as venue for the convention was to manipulate and influence his choice of presidential candidate from the crowd of PDP presidential aspirants.
The APC spokesman then called on opposition members who believed in the APC progressive ideologies to leave “the sinking PDP” for the ruling party where, according to him, their voices would be heard and decisions taken collectively.
PDP in its criticism of the ruling party, accused the APC of posting fictitious figures as votes secured by Buhari at its presidential primaries, “just to hoodwink Nigerians and create an impression of massive support for President Buhari”.
In a statement signed by Kola Ologbondiyan, its National Publicity Secretary, PDP said the resort to allocation of fake figures has shown that President Buhari and APC have lost hope of winning genuine votes in the 2019 general election and want to rely on allocation of fake votes to attempt to rig the main election.
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“Nigerians will recall that the PDP had, in a statement on September 1, 2018, alerted of intelligence reports that the Presidency forced a direct presidential primary on the APC so as to “eliminate delegates accreditation and pave way for allocation of millions of conjured votes, which they intend to use as basis to authenticate the fictitious votes they intend to declare for President Buhari at the general elections”.
“The PDP had also alerted of how “very senior officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), including a blood relation of the President, who is in charge of the commission’s data centre, masterminded and pushed the plot.
“It is therefore, ludicrous that 29 days after our statement, the Presidency and the APC staged a circus show, in their party’s state secretariats, in the name of Presidential primary and came up with fictitious figures as votes secured by President Buhari.”
The PDP added, “Nigerians were thoroughly amused as they see through the lies in APC’s allocation of fictitious 2.9 million votes in Kano, 1.9 million in Lagos, 802,819 in Katsina, in addition to other conjured figures in other states.
“What the APC and the Buhari Presidency failed to note is that Nigerians are already aware that no ballot took place and that such figures cannot be tallied through mere voice vote involving few members of a derelict and disorganised party.
“Nigerians know that what counts in a general election is the participation of registered voters with Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and not fictitious figures from a padded party register or party members, many of who do not exist or hold PVCs. Moreover, the APC do not have the number of members it is posting as having participated in the ‘circus’.
“We want the APC and INEC to know that our party is already privy to the polling centers in certain states which they are planning to use to allocate fake votes for President Buhari in the 2019 general elections and that we have also devised legitimate strategies of exposing and dismantling such plans ahead of the elections, just as the PDP did in Osun State.”
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