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APC accuses PDP of plotting polls shift, groups mobilise for Jonathan’s re-election

By Seye Olumide (Lagos) and Oludare Richards (Abuja)   |   28 January 2015   |   8:22 pm

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THE All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday accused the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Presidency of orchestrating the ongoing campaign for election postponement, despite their denial and assurances that they are ready for the polls.

  The accusation came as Ijaw youths trooped to the streets of Abuja yesterday, mobilizing support for President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election bid.

 ‘’There is no clearer indication that the PDP and the Presidency are the puppeteers behind the election shift campaign than Wednesday’s newspaper advertorial plainly campaigning for the polls to be shifted,’’ the party said in a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

 ‘’This advert, which has the picture of President Goodluck Jonathan and the logo of the PDP – meaning they will be the sole beneficiaries of the postponement they are seeking – leaves no one in doubt that the ruling party and the presidency are pathologically dishonest, deliberately deceptive and chronically terrified about the elections,’’ it said.

  The APC said Nigerians must reject them and their campaign. ‘’The campaign, which is hinged on the fact that many Nigerians have not collected their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVC) is not sincere. If it is, the PDP and the Presidency would have instead been urging Nigerians to go all out and collect their PVCs so the election can hold. Why is this so impossible for them to do?

  ‘’Like we said earlier, what prevents the Federal Government from declaring a three-day public holidays to give Nigerians the opportunity to collect their PVCs? Why is it that only the PDP and its sponsored groups and individuals are the ones leading the campaign for election postponment, even as our party, the APC, has been campaigning for Nigerians to go and collect their PVCs?

 ‘’Is it not instructive that at least 26 political parties have joined the no-postponement campaign, while the PDP/Presidency, as well as the lick-spittle individuals and groups who have been compromised one way or another, continue to beat the drums of election shift?’’ the party said.

 APC wondered why the PDP/Presidency will be second-guessing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which has said it is ready to go ahead with the elections, and that it will be distributing PVCs until the eve of the election.

  While urging its members and supporters in particular, and all Nigerians in general to remain vigilant and be firm in saying ‘no’ to election postponement, the APC appealed to the Chief Justice of the Federation (CJN) to ensure that the courts are not used as a tool to sabotage the elections and indeed the nation’s democracy.

‘’We know that the next frontier in the ongoing battle by the PDP/Presidency to get our candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, disqualified and have the elections postponed, is the court. We know they will seek to secure spurious injunctions to scuttle the elections, following the footsteps of the Association for Better Nigeria (ABN) in 1993. This is why we are appealing to the CJN,’’ APC said.

  Meanwhile, a non-partisan organisation, Democracy Vanguard, has demanded immediate sack of the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, for allegedly calling for the 2015 election to be postponed. The group urged Nigerians to disregard such suggestion.

  Addressing a press conference in Lagos yesterday, the National Coordinator of Democracy Vanguard, Comrade Adeola Soetan, dismissed the call for the postponement, noting that the social and security cost of such action may be too grave to bear.

 “A security adviser of Dasuki’s status is supposed to be seen not to be heard commenting on sensitive issues that can threaten security in the country, more so when such suggestion was not based on any validated inferences.

“We demand for the immediate sack of Dasuki and we say no to postponement of the elections. The social and security cost of such action may be too grave to bear.”

 The pro-Jonathan rally organized by a group of organizations, including members of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), Good House Nigeria and Activate Nigeria, had hundreds of youths converge on the Unity Fountain, Maitama. Five El-Rufai transport buses conveyed the rally train to Wuse Market, where the youths made a display of activities in light of their support for President Jonathan, urging people to use their “Goodluck thumb.”

  The coordinators of the march, Ibiba Okunye-Olu and Wisdom Ikuli, explained the purpose of the rally as a platform for the youths to express their support for Jonathan, endorsing him as their presidential candidate of choice.

  Fielding questions from newsmen, Wisdom Ikuli, a leader in the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), described the purpose of their support as genuine. “We have come together as youths to declare and throw our weight behind President Jonathan. We are not a bunch of youths paid for advocated support, we are here because we believe our president will do better than before. The youths are more enlightened now than they have ever been. There is freedom of speech because we are not being led in tyranny.”

  He spoke further, outlining the disparity between the governments of president Goodluck Jonathan and previous governments and administrations. “The fact that nobody knows who the winner of this election will be, only goes to prove that we are indeed in a democracy and for the first time, the people can decide their leader with their votes, using their Goodluck thumb.”

 Also, the Deputy Chairman, Finance Committee of the Presidential Campaign Organization, Dr. Ngozi Olejeme, has urged Nigerians to vote for Jonathan, saying a vote for PDP in the February 14, 2015 presidential election is a vote for economic growth, development and unity.

  Olejeme made this call Tuesday when she received prominent political leaders from Delta State in Abuja.

  “Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is a good listener and knows his task of governing the country. He is the only presidential candidate that can lead Nigeria to greater heights. He will make Nigeria a better place and a global economic power,“ she said.

 Olejeme assured Nigerians that Jonathan will stick to the policy of transparency and accountability. “President Jonathan will accelerate economic transformation in his second term through investment in critical infrastructure projects so as to drive economic growth. He will pay special attention to education and health. He will focus on building strong economy. He will take communication, transport, electric power provision, security and potable water supply to the highest level. He will create jobs. He will ensure that resources are equitably distributed and an enabling and conducive business environment provided. He will continue to work on good governance, which is an essential part of economic growth and development. He will continue to champion economic diplomacy, promote the growth of local businesses.”




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