President Goodluck Jonathan has dismissed the allegation by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that his visit to Lagos on April 9, 2015 was part of a plot to rig the gubernatorial election in the state.
Lai Muhammed, the APC’s spokesperson, had said that the president visited the nation’s commercial capital to coordinate ways of rigging the election in favour of Jimi Agbaje, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate.
Premium Times reports that Jonathan’s position was detailed in his statement, which was made public by Reuben Abati, the president’s special adviser on media and public affairs.
“Lai Muhammed is wrong to say that the President came to Lagos to rig the governorship and State House of Assembly elections scheduled for Saturday, April 11. He is of course lying as usual. And rude.
“President Jonathan visited Lagos. He arrived on Thursday and left on Friday. People visited him. So what? Anytime the President is in Lagos or any part of the country, a lot of people come to pay homage to him.
“Nothing unusual happened during his last visit to Lagos. Senator Musiliu Obanikoro’s visit to the President in Lagos is not something that anybody should use to play politics. Koro is a Minister of the Federal Republic. He came to see his boss.
“Mr. Jimi Agbaje is the governorship candidate of the PDP in Lagos. I don’t see how his visit to the President, who is also the leader of his party, the PDP, should become an issue.
“Yes, Gani Adams also visited, but so did a lot of other people," the presidency said.
Abbati stressed in the statement that Goodluck Jonathan never summoned or held meetings with officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the police, polling officials or people involved in the conduct of the elections.
“After the presidential election, the President immediately congratulated Gen. Buhari and the whole world has commended him for saving Nigeria.
“President Jonathan’s sportsmanship, statesmanship and leadership saved this country at that critical moment. He has demonstrated his commitment to free and fair election, the rule of law and due process. He has shown that he is a man of character, honour and integrity. Nigerians generally are proud of him.
“He has left a worthy legacy and shown a great example. That, obviously, is the narrative that Lai Muhammed and his masters want to change, so they are now cooking up meaningless tales.
“Lai Muhammed should look for another target and leave the President alone. His fatuous tale does not make any sense. I repeat: we will like to advise that the APC should just leave the President alone.
“President Jonathan was a candidate in the presidential election; he did not rig the election. Why would he want to rig tomorrow’s elections?"
The PDP had earlier accused the APC of finding excuses over its likely defeat in tomorrow’s governorship and House of Assembly elections in the South-West region.
The party stated that the false alert by the APC is part of its plot to heighten tension in the zone and scare away voters from exercising their franchise.