The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described as false, the allegations that the party and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, are inciting Nigerians to civil unrest.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, said this while reacting to the allegation raised by the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The PDP has not come to terms with the announcement of President Muhammadu Buhari as the Presidential-elect and has since decided to seek redress in court.
The statement signed by BMO’s Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju, and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, on Thursday in Abuja had said that what the PDP was doing was an assault on the sensibility of Nigerians.
BMO alleged that PDP and Abubakar are deliberately inciting their supporters with the false impression of a “stolen mandate.’’
The group said the strategy was a calculated attempt by the opposition to cause a breach of the peace after its candidate was rejected by a large majority of eligible voters on Feb. 23.
“We find it worrisome that PDP has been regaling Nigerians with hollow tales of a stolen mandate even before INEC completed the announcement of the Presidential election results.
“Equally worrisome is the attempt to equate their grouse with that of genuine pro-democracy groups over the June 12, 1993 elections, and thereby nudge their supporters to take to the streets in protest.
“PDP’s ploy to discredit the Presidential election as the worst in Nigeria’s political history is clearly dead on arrival, as it is a known fact that many of the elections conducted under PDP’s watch did not measure up to acceptable global standards,” the statement read in part.
The group said it was surprised that the PDP is talking about a mandate with an un-electable Presidential candidate that could not win even his polling centre.
“Is it not amusing that PDP is claiming the mandate of an election that it was clearly unprepared for?
“Here is a party that did not deem it necessary to campaign in sixteen states and the FCT, out of arrogance.
“Yet the party believes it did better than a ruling party that embarked on a three-layered political campaign led by President Muhammadu Buhari in every part of the country,’’ it said.
BMO therefore advised Atiku and his party to pursue their litigation rather than encouraging their supporters to engage in acts of civil disobedience.
It said: “This is a party that adopted a campaign theme of going to court to claim its mandate’ soon after President Muhammadu Buhari was declared winner.
“So it would be appropriate for the former Vice-President, as a democrat that he says he is, to rein in his lieutenants and advise them to respect constituted authorities in spite of the bitterness of the electoral loss.
“We hope that the subtle call to protest is not in line with what some PDP chieftains had, few weeks ago, referred to as the ‘Venezeulan option.’’
In swift reaction, Ologbondiyan said the PDP was not inciting the public but only stating the facts which the general public already know.
“We are not inciting the public, it is the fact available to the public that we are speaking to and a decision is being taken by a court of competent jurisdiction.
“As we speak, even INEC has not been able to compute the result of the presidential election.
“Before we went into the presidential election the figure of registered voters that INEC provided to Nigerians were different from the result they provided at the announcement of polls.
“They should go and ask INEC to manage those discrepancies, the open rigging, and militarization of the process, instead of coming to speak to Nigerians,” he said.