The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday said “no threats or smear campaign will make it buckle on its resolve to contend with the All Progressives Congress (APC) and dismantle its rigging machinery in all future elections.”
The oppositions party’s challenge is coming barely 24 hours after it vowed to dismantle APC’s rigging machine.
Responding to PDP’s claim, APC had alleged that the opposition party had laid out plans to deploy political thugs and use cloned permanent voter’s cards to rig itself to victory in the 2019 general elections, starting from Osun governorship election.
However, PDP, in its reaction, noted that the “APC in its statement on Wednesday, already admitted that it had been engaged in rigging of elections, sponsoring of violence, ballot snatching and announcing of fake results, for which it has become notorious among Nigerians.”
A statement by PDP’s spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, said: “It is a settled fact that though truth can be suppressed for a season, it will always have a way of showing itself to the light. The APC, in its own statement, has owned up to electoral contrivances and openly admitted that it blatantly rigged last Saturday’s National Assembly bye-election where results were altered in its favour, ballot boxes were snatched, Nigerians were harassed, intimidated and even killed.
“The APC in its own words alluded to ‘crude election rigging methods such as ballot snatching and announcement of concocted election results’ which it confirmed as “recently displayed during last weekend bye-election in Kogi state”, where it was illegally declared winner.
“We are therefore happy that having called them out, the APC leaders, apart from admitting their guilt of electoral malfeasance, have demanded for a probe into our move to dismantle their rigging machine. We welcome this demand and further request that the probe should be done in the open, so that we can expose APC’s rigging machine for the world to see.
“Such a probe will also provide the PDP our long awaited opportunity to expose the compromised INEC officials, security agents and agencies as well as fake observers used by the APC to rig elections. The PDP will show evidence of how the APC deployed thugs to unleash violence; used security forces to intimidate, arrest and detain PDP supporters; the cancellation and alteration of results where PDP won, allocation of fake results for the APC and outright declaration of concocted results to suit the whims of APC.
“The PDP has all the facts and will never allow them to play out again.
“Regarding Osun governorship election, the PDP maintains that it will not allow the APC to freely use its Ekiti and Edo rigging templates to manipulate the process to its favour. No amount of propaganda and distortion of our statement will deter the PDP from its stand to confront and resist the APC, head to head and ensure that only the will of the people prevail.”
PDP also noted that it has resolved to “set up monitoring teams in all polling centres and we will end all attempts by the APC to buy votes or snatch ballot boxes as they did in Ekiti and the just concluded bye-elections.
“While the PDP remains law-abiding and will never engage in rigging, it will, with all efficiency, dismantle the APC rigging machine and ensure a free and fair election using all means available to members as free citizens of Nigeria. This nation belongs to all of us and nobody, no matter how highly placed, must arrogate himself the power to subjugate others, particularly at elections. Enough is enough.”