The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has alleged plot by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to manipulate the general elections.
Atiku, who spoke yesterday at an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP, said the ruling party has trained operatives in China to hack smart card readers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
According to him, the operatives were back from China and have been equipped with devices to slow or fasten the card readers.
“So, if you are in the South-South, South-East and North-Central, you are likely to get your card readers to be slowed by those APC operatives.
“We have seen the machines; we have interviewed some of those who have gone on this training, and we have passed that information to the campaign council to pass to you.
“But if you are from the North-West or North-East, the tendency is that they will use these machines to fast-track the readings of your card readers, so that many of their supporters can vote while disenfranchising the other three zones.
“I thought you should know that we have supplied the information to the campaign council, and you will even see the copy of the machine which each and everyone of those operatives is to hold.
“It is like a telephone, but that is its job. I felt I should let you know, and you should be guided accordingly,” the PDP candidate further stated.
Atiku, who said President Muhammadu Buhari is not a democrat, condemned the shoot-on-sight order the president gave to security agencies.
He advised security agencies to be professional in their duties, and shun unlawful orders.
According to the former vice president, a precondition for free, fair and credible election is to allow the people to freely choose their leaders.
He challenged President Buhari to allow Nigerians choose their leaders the same way that he was elected.
“General Buhari is not a democrat; he doesn’t believe in democracy, he is paying lip service, he is more of a power monger than a democrat,” he said.
The former vice president expressed confidence in winning the February 23rd election.
Atiku said: “We must now turn our attention to the upcoming elections this Saturday, where the destiny of our people and country will resoundingly be decided.
“So, let me reassure you my friends: we are going to win these elections. And to our long-suffering citizens, I say do not despair, our time is now, and together, we shall reshape the destiny of our beloved country.”
The PDP presidential candidate said his goal was to change the present narrative for better.
“Our goal is not to gain power for our own sake, but for the people of our country who have been so hard hit by four years of APC’s cluelessness and incompetence.
“Four years which have seen 14 million more of our people without jobs, more of our people killed than ever before and more of our people living in extreme poverty than any other nation on this planet.
“Let us not forget that in the last three years of the last PDP administration, Nigeria had become the largest economy in Africa and in each of those years, we had the fastest growth rate in our continent.
“And so true to our values and commitment to chart a new path for our beloved country, our campaigns have been issues based, offering Nigerians hope for a better tomorrow; while demanding free, fair, transparent and credible elections from the government,” he said.
President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, alleged that the APC was planning to scuttle the forthcoming general elections.
Saraki, who is also the Director General of PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, reminded the ruling party that it won the 2015 presidential election because democracy was working in Nigeria.
“This democracy that worked for you, is to work for generations yet unborn. Do not ruin Nigeria’s democracy because of your ambition. Democracy is bigger than you and as such it worked for you and it will also work for others.
“Nigeria is a country that is practicing democracy. Nigeria is a country that is governed by rule of law. What Mr. President said on Monday suggested that this country is governed by jungle justice.
“We in PDP are not for election rigging, we are against election rigging. We sign strongly that the law should be applied on anybody that carry out election rigging. We must operate as a country that complies with the rule of law and democracy.
“They don’t want election to hold, we know they don’t want election to hold on Saturday. By God’s grace, the man that will take us to promised land, Atiku Abubakar will win,” he said.
PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, called on the INEC to properly audit all the materials that have been collected and distributed in order to address issues that could lead to another postponement.
Secondus disclosed that in the course of preparing for the election, PDP complained to the INEC and other critical stakeholders concerning developments it discovered to be injurious to a free, fair and credible election.
He regretted that those entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that the expression of the people’s will is made manifest, have time and again failed to demonstrate good faith.
“A sick narrative has emerged. One of systemic and systematic rigging, manipulation of the true record of the voters register and a cabal you can no longer trust with the trajectory and growth of our democracy and nation. This is the evidence of bad faith by those managing the election and the government of the day,” the PDP chairman stated.
He noted that since the postponement of last Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections, APC leaders have been trying to extricate themselves from the mess that led to the postponement.
“But the more they try, the more it became clearer that they were indeed a critical accomplice in the untidy outing of the electoral commission.
“They still believe that they can deceive Nigerians into not recognizing crocodile tears from the real ones,” he added.