PDP alerts of mass protest over alleged card reader manipulation
• Denies APC’s claim of intimidation
MORE worries for the rescheduled general elections, as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alerted of a mass resistance by Nigerians should the cards readers be manipulated in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Also Wednesday, the Director of Media, PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Femi Fani-Kayode, at a press conference in Abuja, dismissed as untrue the allegations by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that the Federal Government planned to frame leaders of the opposition party.
He alleged that the card readers were being manipulated to work well in APC-controlled states but malfunction in PDP states. He stated: “Our position on the card reader remains that the machine has not been tested in any election and there are bases for genuine concern over the use of the machine for the first time in a crucial election of this magnitude.
“We are aware of the plot by the APC, working in cahoots with some strategically placed and retrogressive elements, to use the card readers to frustrate accreditation in parts of the country while not enforcing strict use of the machines in some other parts.
“The truth is that if they go ahead with that wicked plot, the APC and its collaborators will only be preparing the ground for mass resistance. They can be rest assured that we will not sit by idly and allow such a thing to unfold.”
On the main opposition’s claim that government was going to frame some of its leaders, he noted: “We are not trying to frame up Jega. We have no plans to plant any illegal substance in the bags of any of the leaders of the APC whenever they travel. We are not trying to compromise the telephone numbers of any of the INEC officials.
“President (Goodluck) Jonathan is not planning to arrest opposition leaders before the elections. The Presidency has not retained the services of any foreigner to corrupt or compromise INEC computers on election day and we are not planning to do any of the other reprehensible things that they have alleged.
“The truth is that if they were in our position, these are the sort of sordid things that they would do. Such dirty things and filthy tactics are a way of life and an art with them. But for us, such things are alien, perverse and unacceptable.”
According to him, “the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation is not surprised that the APC is resorting to peddling falsehood in order to gain public sympathy. For quite some time now, the party has been displaying its expertise in the cheap propaganda for which it is well known. We take exception to their fiction and false claims and we will not take this matter lightly.”
Also Wednesday, the PDP dismissed claims by the APC that government was going to use security agents to intimidate people during the March 28 presidential election. In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, the PDP described the allegation as “part of APC’s worn-out antics of attempting to use nuisance alarm to heat up the system, having failed to articulate credible manifesto to secure genuine followership among Nigerians.”
“Nigerians are aware that this is not the first time the opposition would be raising such alarm just for Nigerians to find out that they are lies,” he said. “We have here a group of people who are being haunted by failure and self-inflicted woes.
“APC has all along been deluding itself as a government-in-waiting with some phantom popular image it created for itself in the social media. Now that reality has dawned it in the face, it has resorted to deploying all manner of antics in a failed attempt to win the sympathy of Nigerians.”
Restating its readiness for the March 28 and April 11 elections, the ruling party said the “APC’s resort to wild allegations and baseless utterances are aimed at causing confusion, a clear indication that the opposition is indeed scared of the elections, having been exposed in their deceit, empty promises and apparent lack of capacity to lead the nation.”
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