Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described as baseless allegations raised by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday accusing the opposition party of engaging in “destructive propaganda”.
PDP had expressed doubt over the ability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free and fair elections in 2019 and called for a review of the voters register in Kano and Katsina States to address alleged instances of the registration of underage voters in the recently conducted polls in the two northwestern states.
Reacting to the issues raised, the National Publicity Secretary of the ruling APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said that the PDP’s alerts to Nigerians contained wild and unsubstantiated allegations against the party, government and critical institutions as the INEC.
“In the name of playing opposition, the PDP has typically chosen to launch itself back into reckoning by engaging in destructive propaganda, deliberately spreading false, misleading and fabricated tales with intent to cause resentments, distrust and panic in the country.
“While APC recognises the right of the PDP and indeed any other political party to criticise our party, and the policies and programmes of our government, however, we believe this should be done based on facts and reason. Indeed, democracy thrives on a strong opposition that put the government on its toes. But engaging in wild propaganda, cooked up tales and deliberate falsehoods in the name of opposing the government, is ultimately destructive.
“While we do not speak for the INEC, we wish to state however that it borders on cheap blackmail for PDP to launch wholesale attack on the integrity of this institution in the way it has done. INEC is certainly not yet the perfect institution that we all aspire to. However, it appears that to PDP, INEC can only be good enough if PDP wins election. Hence, this pre-emptive and presumptuous attack on INEC.
“We call on the PDP to address itself to new realities where every registered voter is entitled to one vote. Never again will the country return to the primitive and undemocratic ways of ballot snatching and dubious announcement of election results which was perfected and regularly perpetuated by the PDP when it was in power. Nevertheless, our position remains that anyone found to have violated any aspect of the Electoral Act should be dealt with in accordance with the law.
“Strangely, the PDP has also faulted the EFCC’s offer of assistance to INEC to monitor campaigns funds. What is the PDP afraid of? It is clear that the party is still living in the past when public funds were criminally diverted to sponsor its political activities. It is obvious that PDP is still terrified by transparency, preferring instead that Nigeria continue to wallow in the culture of corruption and impunity that it has entrenched in the country because that is the only way the party knows how to operate. Corruption is their oxygen. APC welcomes any measures taken to ensure transparency in electoral financing.
“Most shockingly, PDP alleges that the Federal Government is making plans to “manipulate performance Indices” and even claims that government has hired agents for this assignment. How low can they get? The country’s slide and subsequent exit from recession was announced by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) under this same government.
“We therefore wonder what they are talking about. It’s either that PDP do not realise that allegations such as this is capable of eroding confidence in the economy or they just don’t care as long as their desperate bid to return to power is served,” he said.