The National Democratic Front (NDF) has described as frivolous, claims by Uche Secondus, the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), that the Nigerian army interfered in last week’s presidential and national assembly elections.
In a statement, Bolaji Abdulkadir, secretary-general of NDF, said after failing to lawfully unseat President Muhammadu Buhari, Secondus promptly resorted to propaganda, pointing accusing fingers at several groups including foreign observers and “utterly harmless troops”.
“The party’s leadership, notably its chairman, Prince Uche Secondus and spokesperson, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, have been making the circuit to peddle their frivolous claims,” Abdulkadir said.
“These claims have been most bizarre and often bordering on being hare-brained for the sheer ludicrousness because they at best fall in the region of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.
“Gentlemen of the press, just for you to have a sense of the extent to which the PDP is blaming everyone but itself for its defeat at the polls, it accused the international observers of caving in to endorse the victory of President Buhari because they were threatened by Governor Nasir el-Rufai’s “body bags” comment. Do not forget that these were the same foreign observation missions that the PDP and its candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar misled to issue threats against Nigeria. If it was possible for the observers to be cowed by the mere mention of body bags would they have been bold enough to threaten brimstone against Nigeria if the elections were rigged?
“ They issued these threats on the wrong impression that Atiku was the popular candidate and that was before they knew how seriously Nigerians take the stains of corruptions on and around his person. Once they realized they have been lied to they had no option than to reset their assignment to default and stay on the path of neutrality.
“ This culture of lies was extended to attempt tarnishing the military as the PDP accused it of “suppressing voters” in its strongholds. Our view is that the PDP is expressing its bitterness at the directive given to the military to deal ruthlessly with any ballot box snatcher. This singular directive, which the military implemented with the strictest sense of responsibility to human rights, took the wind out of the PDP’s sail as many of the youths it had engaged to snatch ballot boxes became aware of the mortal risks involved in the once lucrative business and decided not to be sent on suicide missions.
“ The bulk of votes that the PDP had banked on getting were from the pre-filled result sheet that could have only been tendered when the ballot boxes are snatched and filled with thumb printed ballot papers to match the doctored results. It remained to be seen how and why the military is being demonized for performing duties that helped to ensure transparency in the voting process. The performance of the military was highly commended even in Rivers state where PDP agents killed an officer in their bid to compromise the election.
“ Secondus and his party’s obsession with the military must therefore be seen in the light of the foregoing. They are frustrated that power remains in the hands of the Nigerians people who have exercised same with the ballot.
“ We therefore urge Nigerians to take heed when listening to the rants from the PDP. The party failed on the relativity scale because it does not have the appropriate comparison for what they are trying to make Nigeria believe. The PDP is not used to free, fair and credible elections so it beggars belief what it is using as yardsticks to adjudge whether last Saturday’s election met the expected standards. Standards that are alien to the PDP.
“ The military must disregard the blackmail of the PDP to focus on the instruction given to it by Mr. President. Troops must ensure that next Saturday’s elections do not fall prey to ballot box snatchers that have been reactivated since the PDP suffered defeat at the presidential election.”