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Mudslinging over 2015 Polls Continues



The Presidency has said it has no plans to support the postponement of the 2015 elections as widely speculated a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Prof. Rufai Alkali, in Abuja on Friday, said.

Alkali said allegations by the All Progressives Congress that the Presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party were plotting to postpone the election were false.

Alkali said it was the APC that had been making efforts to frustrate the process of conducting free and fair elections.

He alleged that the APC had been breaching the Abuja Peace Accord, which all the presidential candidates subscribed to, with impunity.

He said President Goodluck Jonathan had been receiving support since he embarked on the nationwide campaign and that he and the party were fully prepared for the elections.

The statement read in part, “The attempt to denigrate the Presidency of Nigeria and drag it down the cesspit of vile propaganda and rumour mongering is unfortunate and signpost that the APC disregard our revered institutions.

“We wish to draw the attention of Nigerians to the fact that it is the APC and their unruly supporters that have been doing everything possible to frustrate the conduct of a free and fair electoral process.

“They have consistently violated the Abuja Peace Accord through violent conducts in Katsina, Bauchi, Taraba, Gombe and Plateau states. They have engaged in unprovoked attacks on our billboards in Lagos State. They have done all these to trigger reactions from our supporters and create an enabling environment for the truncation of the election.”

Alkali said the President was prepared to move the country forward by ensuring peaceful polls.

Meanwhile, the APC has condemned plan by those seeking the postponement of next month’s general elections to sponsor protests across the country against INEC as a way of forcing the commission to shift the elections scheduled for February 14th and 28th.

The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said in a statement that those pushing for the elections to be shifted are also seeking to instigate the National Youth Service Corps members who will serve as part of the ad-hoc staff for INEC during the polls to say they do not feel safe to be part of the elections in certain parts of the country.

Mohammed said even if the NYSC members refuse to participate in the elections in certain parts of the country; there would be no shortage of those willing to serve as ad-hoc staff.

He said, “It has also come to our notice that these election-shift proponents are holding clandestine meetings with various groups, including a section of the media, to recruit them for their dubious campaigns to force a postponement of the elections.

“The assurances by INEC that 65 million PVCs are now ready and that the remaining 3.8 million will be ready in due course have heightened the belief among Nigerians that the electoral umpire is indeed ready, willing and able to conduct the elections as scheduled.

“That is why we are surprised that instead of encouraging Nigerians who have not done so to go and collect their PVCs, instead of heeding the advice for the declaration of a three-day public holidays to enable working class people to collect their PVCs, all they are interested in is how to sponsor various dubious individuals and groups to stage protests against INEC.”

Punch, January 31, 2015

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