The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, yesterday, traded tackles on alleged manipulation of card readers deployed to some geo-political zones for Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections.
Atiku drew the first blood when he alleged, at the 84th emergency meeting of the PDP National Executive Council in Abuja, that the APC has brought in China-trained operatives who will slow down card readers in PDP strongholds but will hasten the speed of card readers in Buhari’s strongholds; to allow for more voters.
“We have just discovered that the APC has hired many of their operatives and have taken them to China to be trained, and they have been so trained. They are back, and they are equipped with devices that are meant to slow or fasten our card readers
“So, if you are in the South South, South East and North Central, you are likely to get your card readers to be slowed by those APC operatives.
“If you are from the North West or North East, the tendency is that they will use these machines to fast-track the readings of your card readers so that many of their supporters can vote while disenfranchising the other three zones,” Atiku said.
In a swift response, the APC dismissed Atiku’s allegation as “it is illogical that a party that is in a contest with clear, superior numerical support would shut down communication on election day.”
The party also warned of fresh fears about PDP’s plan to deploy $111 million for vote-buying across the states, under the pretence of “logistics.”
In a statement signed by the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, yesterday evening, the party alleged that the PDP “has no plans to win the elections through legitimate votes, but through illegally-procured votes.
“Again, in the aftermath of the configured card readers recently recovered from PDP agents in some states, Atiku has gone to town with face-saving conspiracies that the APC has imported slow-working card readers from China.
“Atiku also alleged of a plan to shut down communication on election day. Will the communication shutdown affect only the PDP while leaving APC supporters and agents? Nigerians can see through the infantile lies.
“Nigerians will recall that the APC had earlier reported the PDP’s plot before last Saturday’s postponed elections. The recent arrest of several armed PDP political thugs and recovery of INEC card readers and arms from PDP agents, in some states, points directly to PDP’s plan; as revealed by a security report.
“Atiku has called on the president to retract his instruction to security agencies regarding violence, ballot box thieves, and other electoral malpractices.
“The question is how such instruction disturbs anyone that is truly interested in free, fair and credible elections. We reiterate the resolution of Monday’s meeting of the APC expanded national caucus, which urged security agencies to step up their activities by ensuring that all those involved in violence, ballot box snatching, falsification of results, vote-buying and other election illegalities should face the full weight of the law. It is a shame that PDP is kicking against this. We are not surprised because PDP has marshalled plans to get to power by all means possible. The option of one man, one vote, is not on the PDP’s table.
“Atiku has admitted what we already know that he is not popular by claiming he has two geo-political zones while the APC has the four other geo-political zones. On election day, Atiku and the PDP should prepare for the shock of their lives.
“The South South and South East are not oblivious of the unprecedented developmental achievements recorded in the zones under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration, compared to the PDP’s wasted years.”