2019 Polls: Don’t throw Nigeria into anarchy out of desperation, Nigerian govt warns opposition
London, Feb. 13, 2019 (AltAfrica)- The Federal Government has warned the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) not to throw Nigerian into anarchy out of its desperation to grab power at all cost, saying Nigeria’s unity and survival override any party’s ambition.
Briefing the media in Ilorin, Kwara State, on Thursday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the on going attempt by the PDP to discredit the results of the yet-to-be held 2019 general elections is an invitation to anarchy.
He said the latest manifestation of PDP’s avowed determination todiscredit the results of the 2019 elections is the statement credited to the opposition party that it lacks confidence in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the party’s decision to setup what it calls the Parallel Voting Tabulation (PVT) System.
”Consistently, the PDP has been attacking the two national institutions that are most pivotal to the elections – the INEC and the police. This is part of the party’s strategy to erode confidence in the institutions, preparatory to faulting the outcome of the elections.
”We have also been calling national and international attention to this strategy by the PDP. We warned that the PDP will do everything to scuttle the polls, failing which the opposition party will work to discredit the results.
The persistent accusation of planned rigging of the polls, which is not evidence-based, the not-so-subtle threat of violence issued by the PDP at its press conference on Wednesday and the setting up of the PVT are all geared to achieve one objective:discredit the election results,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
He said while it was standard practice for political parties to have their own monitoring system during elections, what the PDP intends to achieve through the PVT is to set up a pseudo electoral commission that would announce its own concocted results and throw the nation into crisis.
The Minister however warned the PDP of very dire consequences, should it proceed to usurp the role of INEC.
‘INEC is the only body statutorily imbued with the power to collate and announce the results of national elections. The penalties for any individual or organisation that usurps these functions are clearly spelt out. It is therefore necessary to remind the PDP not to sabotage the 2019 general elections on the altar of desperation,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said it is particularly instructive that the PDP’s threat was issued on the same day its presidential candidate joined the candidates of other political parties to sign the second peace accord.
”The threat of fire and brimstone issued by the PDP, for no reason at all, is incongruent with the stated position of its presidential candidate that his ambition is not worth the life of any Nigerian.
Attacks on the institutions charged with organising and securing the elections constitute a recipe for anarchy, while anarchy spares no one’s life!” he said.
The Minister called on the security agencies to ensure that no one precipitates chaos before, during and after the elections, and urged Nigerians to come out in large numbers to peacefully exercise their franchise.