•Alleges plot to clamp down on opposition, CSO
Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), yesterday, said former deputy senate president, Senator Ibrahim Mantu never rigged elections for it.
This is coming on the heels of confession by Mantu that he used to rig election for the opposition party.
The former deputy senate president, had while appearing on a television programme last week, confessed that he had helped the PDP to rig elections in the past by inducing electoral officials and security agents financially.
However, the PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan said Mantu’s claims were personal to him, noting that it has nothing to do with the party.
The opposition party said since its formation in 1998, it has never directed any of its members to rig elections on its behalf.
“Senator Mantu spoke about his personal activities and tendencies in the elections where he participated. The PDP has never directed or had any pact with him to rig election on its behalf. Never!
“After all, in 2007, Senator Mantu lost his own senatorial election. What, then, happened to his rigging machinery, if he could not deliver himself,” it queried.
The PDP explained that its candidates during elections were issued with its code of conduct, which contains the basic rules of electioneering engagements, noting that there is nowhere in the rules where candidates or party members were directed to rig elections for the party.
If any member’s conduct transgressed these basic rules of engagement, that individual did not act on behalf of the PDP, and as such the party cannot be vicariously held responsible, the party said.
Consequently, the opposition party said it was misplaced for anybody, including the All Progressives Congress (APC), to conclude that Senator Mantu acted on its behalf.
Meanwhile, the PDP yesterday alleged that there were plots by some agents of the Federal Government and the APC to clampdown on key members of opposition political parties and civil societies ahead of the 2015 general elections.
In another statement, Ologbondiyan said those targeted were members of the civil society, opinion leaders, the media and professional groups who refused to buy into the propaganda of the ruling party and the present administration.
PDP said it was reliably informed that the alleged plot against opposition will be hinged on trumped up charges of corruption, allegations of plotting to disrupt the processes leading to the 2019 general elections as well as alleged politicisation of security issues in the country.
It added that the first leg of the scheme was to commence a vicious intimidation and harassment of PDP members who have refused to succumb to pressure to join the APC in their undemocratic quest to create room for a one party state in Nigeria.
“This will be followed by arrests, detention as well as jailing of members of the opposition and others perceived to be opposed to the interests of the APC ahead of the elections,” PDP said.
It added that as a political party that grew the nation’s democracy and successfully handed over power to the opposition in 2015, it has a responsibility to ensure that democracy flourish in the country, without hinderance.
“All we are saying is that the APC and its Federal Government must provide good governance and live up to its campaign promises of eradicating corruption, vanquishing insurgency and bringing our currency to the value of one naira to one US dollar, among others,” it stated.