ADC warns Buhari, APC against intimidation, threats
African Democratic Congress (ADC) has warned the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) against intimidating opposition parties and Nigerians with death threats, saying the government must adhere to its basic responsibility to protect lives during the polls, ‘not take lives.’
In a communiqué issued after its emergency meeting in Akwa, Anambra State yesterday, National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, while reviewing the events that led to the botched presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday, said other party disagreed with President Muhammadu Buhari over the directives to security agencies to be ruthless to anyone who tries to snatch ballot boxes in the forthcoming elections.
The communiqué, signed by the National Chairman and Secretary of the party, Chief Ralphs Nwosu and Alhaji Said Abdullahi respectively, read in part, “The meeting reviewed the earlier positions taken in our press release, which demanded that President Buhari and the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, should resign. After reviewing the explanations given by the commission for the postponement, and in view of results of independent investigations on what went on behind the scenes, ADC has come to the conclusion that agents of the government or fifth columnists within the APC administration were responsible for the logistics failure.
“As a result, we have shifted our initial stand on the INEC chairman and have resolved that he should be allowed to conclude his tenure. We, therefore, call on President Buhari to call relevant officials in his administration to order and allow INEC carry out its job without further interference.”
The party also wants the fate of President Buhari to be determined by the people through the ballot box, saying this would leverage Nigeria’s democracy.
The leaders of the party said they resolved to shift their insistence on INEC holding the governorship and state assembly polls on March 2 in the original timetable, and to align with the position of international observer teams that the elections should hold on 23rd February, and 9th March 2019.
The ADC NWC said, “We note the shenanigans, undemocratic, deliberate threats and death scare by APC leaders, particularly President Buhari, reference to Nigerians ‘paying with their lives’ in matters which have clear penalties, according to the country’s electoral laws. We also note El-Rufai’s instigation of ethnic bloodshed, with his callous “returning home in body bags” warning to international observers, as well as the party Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole’s melancholy and clear stance against free and fair elections. These must not be taken for granted as we prepare for the rescheduled polls.
“We, therefore, call on Mr. President, and all political leaders to show good conduct, especially where it concerns elections and be in sync with the Jonathan legacy. We urge APC leaders to work to protect all lives and not take lives, as failure may result to APC leaders facing the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
The party reiterated its unflinching support for the Joint Presidential Candidate of the Coalition of United Political Parties, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, saying, “We reconfirm our membership, leadership, and commitment to the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), and, therefore, invite all ADC candidates, members and supporters to vote for Atiku, the joint presidential candidate of CUPP. We affirm that voting him for president is the patriotic thing to do for all Nigerians at this point in the nation’s history of democracy.
“In conclusion, our party, ADC, has become the undisputed new and credible option that Nigerians crave for; we have presented quality men and women for the 2019 general elections. They are contesting in the entire Governorship, Senatorial, House of Representatives, and State Assemblies races across the country. We invite Nigerians to vote ADC candidates in their various constituencies. We assure you that these quality minds will give effective leadership and stellar representation.”