The All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday accused the presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party of planning an interim government, hence the shift in election dates.
The APC alleged that the federal government and the ruling PDP had started a secret campaign, lobbying emirs and other opinion leaders to accept an interim government from May 29, which is the day President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration will be terminated.
The APC also alleged that the PDP was behind the distribution of leaflets in Gombe, the Gombe state capital, at the weekend, warning people against voting in the elections.
In a statement on the Nation Online, the national publicity secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said:
‘’It is an open secret that their emissary is touring the North, meeting with Emirs and others to push for an interim government. It has also been revealed how they plan to use the National Assembly to seek tenure elongation. Never before has a sitting government been this desperate to avoid elections. This election phobia by a sitting government is a first in contemporary history.’’
The APC in the statement insisted that the PDP is “mortally afraid” of the general elections, “sponsoring the circulation of leaflets urging the people of Gombe to stay away from polling booths on election days or they will be in trouble”.
The statement continued:“Even the attack on Gombe on Saturday was suspect, wondering how Boko Haram insurgents will drive on the highway from Maiduguri to Gombe in a convoy of many vehicles without being spotted or stopped at the myriad of military checkpoints dotting the area.”
The statement also said it is “curious that the Boko Haram terrorists, who have never mentioned the elections in their regular videos on YouTube, have suddenly started campaigning against the conduct of elections”.
The party also noted that the local government elections in Yobe in 2013 were free of any insurgent incidents, indicating that there has not been a systematic campaign by the insurgents to attack voters.
‘’Part of the strategy of the PDP and the Jonathan Administration is to depopulate perceived opposition strongholds through all sorts of dangerous measures, and this scaremongering, supposedly by Boko Haram, fits into that strategy. They are also the unseen hands behind the advertisement by faceless groups, urging Muslims to vote for Muslim candidates. It is in line with their exploitation of religious and ethnic fault lines to divide Nigerians.’’
The APC said the alarm raised by Mike Omeri, the coordinator of the National Information Centre, that some female suicide bombers may strike at polling units during the elections, also fits into the PDP/Jonathan administration’s strategy to depopulate opposition strongholds.
"It is now very clear to Nigerians that the PDP-led Federal Government does not want the forthcoming elections to hold, because it is guaranteed a shellacking. First the government sponsored a campaign to postpone the elections because of low PVC distribution. When they realised the number of PVCs collected was growing and that their argument might no longer be tenable, they suddenly used security as an alibi, abandoning their earlier push for the election shift on the basis of low PVC distribution.
"After they succeeded in forcing the postponement, they launched another campaign for the PVCs and the Card Readers to be jettisoned in favour of TVCs, because that will allow them to rig, if indeed the elections proceed in spite of them. Those campaigning against the use of PVCs and Card Readers have forgotten that Ghana successfully used the same technology in its last elections, and that it is not rocket science."
Just as former president Olusegun Obasanjo did on Saturday, the APC warned Jonathan of instigating a "Gbagbo Treatment" for Nigeria.
‘’The plot that landed Ivory Coast under Laurent Gbagbo in hot water, and for which Gbagbo is currently cooling his heels in a holding cell at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, was not as elaborate as that being pushed by the PDP and the Jonathan Administration. That is why we are urging them to tread softly and save Nigeria from crisis.
‘’We know Nigerians have seen through the games being played by the PDP and the Jonathan Administration. Nigerians and the entire world know those who are behind the election postponement, the myriad of court cases seeking to disqualify our presidential candidate, the ongoing efforts to depopulate opposition strongholds, the devilish advertisements seeking to use ethnicity and religion to divide Nigerians, the campaign to jettison the PVCs and Card Readers in favour of TVCs as well as the tenure elongation and interim government options.
‘’That is why we are calling on all lovers of democracy to be vigilant in the run-up to the rescheduled polls, and for them to insist that nothing but the holding of the elections will be acceptable to Nigerians".
Despite this claim the minister of justice and attorney general of the federation, Mohammed Adoke, has said an interim government was not being considered because it is not constitutional.
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday accused Jonathan of being behind the of electio, saying the president wants to go the way of former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo, who delayed elections many times until he felt he was in a position to win.
When the election was eventually held, Gbagbo lost, but he refused to hand over until he was forced from power.