PDP accuses Tinubu, APC of plots to disrupt 2023 elections

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The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, and the ruling party of planning to disrupt the 2023 general election.

The PDP said Tinubu directed the APC leaders to deploy violence and snatch power in the 2023 polls after he realised his party has been rejected by Nigerians.

Tinubu had in a recent meeting with some APC leaders in London, the United Kingdom, said: “Political power is not going to be served in a restaurant. It is not served a la carte. At all costs, fight for it, grab it, snatch it and run with it.”

Speaking on the development at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, said in response to Tinubu’s directive, APC leaders and members have activated plots to “derail the electoral process through orchestrated violent attacks in various states of the country aimed to trigger a nationwide security emergency situation, instill fear and make it appear inconducive to conduct elections in the country.”

Ologunagba said part of the plots was the current attacks on the facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in various parts of the country as witnessed in Ogun, Osun, and Imo states where sections critical to the conduct of elections, particularly those connected to the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) were targeted and destroyed.

“Also, our party has been made aware of plans by the APC to orchestrate attacks in other states, particularly Kogi and Delta; some states of the South-East as well as parts of the North with the view to subverting the electoral process in as many States as possible.

“Intelligence available to our party indicates that the attack on INEC facilities is to prevent newly registered voters from collecting their PVCs; destroy the PVCs so that they will not be available for collection in INEC offices, and thirdly, destroy INEC equipment and cripple its capacity to conduct elections.

“In addition, the APC has introduced a very disturbing dimension of purchasing PVCs from unsuspecting Nigerians through monetary inducement masquerading as empowerment programmes.

“In any case our party is not surprised at the resort to violence by Asiwaju Tinubu and the APC; a clear acceptance of electoral defeat which apparently accounts for the APC’s presidential candidate’s decision to boycott the signing of the National Peace Accord by presidential candidates in the 2023 elections.

“It is apparent and disturbing that the APC presidential candidate has not issued any caution against the many acts of violence linked to members of his party. His body language and comments suggest the condoning of the ongoing violence on our electoral process,” he added.

Ologunagba stated that Tinubu’s directive to APC leaders and supporters in London was to hit Nigeria with violence and mislead security agencies to direct their investigation on criminals and social restiveness, “instead of the real culprit, the APC”.

The PDP spokesperson noted that the move was also to create tension across the country ahead of the 2023 general election, adding that the alarm raised by the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on the several attacks on commission’s facilities further confirmed the opposition party’s fears.

He, however, urged security agencies to immediately investigate and stop the APC on the alleged plot to derail the country’s democratic process

“The INEC should immediately invoke its regulatory powers and impose sanctions on the APC Presidential Candidate for constituting a clear and present danger to the electoral process.

“Our party also calls on the International Community to impose strict sanctions including travel restrictions on APC leaders found culpable of instigating and encouraging violence in the electoral process.

“The PDP again demands that President Muhammadu Buhari should call Asiwaju Tinubu and his party members to order so that Nigerians can peacefully choose their next President through a free, fair, transparent and credible electoral process.

“The choice of who becomes the President of Nigeria rests on the Will of the people through the free exercise of their votes and the APC presidential candidate should come to terms with the resolve of Nigerians to vote in the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar as the next President.

“Asiwaju Tinubu must accept the fact that Atiku Abubakar, is more popular and possess the competence, requisite experience, presence of mind, mental alertness, physical stamina and political will that Nigerians earnestly yearn for in a leader at this critical time.

“We therefore call on Nigerians not to succumb to the proclivities of the APC but remain resolute in defending our democratic process and rallying with the PDP in our mission to Rescue, Rebuild and Redirect our nation from the suffocating government of the APC,” Ologunagba added.

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