The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused those who are mortally afraid of the 2015 general elections of sponsoring the circulation of leaflets urging the people of Gombe to stay away from the polling booths on election days or they will be in trouble.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said it cannot put anything beyond the PDP and the Jonathan Administration, because of their desperation to ensure that the general elections do not hold, at all costs.
It said even the attack on Gombe on Saturday was suspect, wondering how Boko Haram insurgents will drive on the highway from Maiduguri to Gombe in a convoy of many vehicles without being spotted or stopped at the myriad of military checkpoints dotting the area.
APC said it is curious that the Boko Haram terrorists, who have never mentioned the elections in their regular videos on YouTube, have suddenly started campaigning against the conduct of elections.
The party also noted that the local government elections in Yobe, one of the hotbeds of the Boko Haram insurgency, went without any incident in 2013, indicating there has not been a systematic campaign by the insurgents to attack voters.
"Part of the strategy of the PDP and the Jonathan Administration is to depopulate perceived opposition strongholds through all sorts of dangerous measures, and this scaremongering, supposedly by Boko Haram, fits into that strategy. They are also the unseen hands behind the advertisement by faceless groups urging Muslims to vote for Muslim candidates. It is in line with their exploitation of religious and ethnic fault lines to divide Nigerians," the party said.
APC said the alarm raised by Mike Omeri, the Coordinator of the National Information Centre, that some female suicide bombers may strike at polling units during the elections, also fits into the PDP/Jonathan Administration's opposition stronghold depopulation strategy.
"It is now very clear to Nigerians that the PDP-led federal government does not want the forthcoming elections to hold, because it is guaranteed a shellacking. First the government sponsored a campaign to postpone the elections because of low PVC distribution. When they realized the number of PVCs collected was growing and that their argument might no longer be tenable, they suddenly used security as an alibi, abandoning their earlier push for the election shift on the basis of low PVC distribution.
"After they succeeded in forcing the postponement, they launched another campaign for the PVCs and the Card Readers to be jettisoned in favour of TVCs, because that will allow them to rig if indeed the elections proceed in spite of them. Those campaigning against the use of PVCs and Card Readers have forgotten that Ghana successfully used the same technology in its last elections, and that it is not rocket science," the party said.
It also accused the PDP federal government of exhibiting the traits of elections phobia by continuing to clandestinely campaign for an interim government, even though the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has publicly denied such moves.
"It is an open secret that as we write this statement, their emissary is touring the north meeting with Emirs and others to push for an interim government. It has also been revealed how they plan to use the National Assembly to seek tenure elongation. Never before has a sitting government been this desperate to avoid elections. This election phobia by a sitting government is a first in contemporary history," APC said.
The party urged President Goodluck Jonathan not to plunge Nigeria into crisis or give the country the Gbagbo treatment, all in pursuit of personal interest at the expense of national interest.
"The plot that landed Ivory Coast under Laurent Gbagbo in hot water, and for which Gbagbo is currently cooling his heels in a holding cell at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, was not as elaborate as that being pushed by the PDP and the Jonathan Administration. That is why we are urging them to tread softly and save Nigeria from crisis.
"We know Nigerians have seen through the games being played by the PDP and the Jonathan Administration. Nigerians and the entire world know those who are behind the election postponement, the myriad of court cases seeking to disqualify our presidential candidate, the ongoing efforts to depopulate opposition strongholds, the devilish advertisements seeking to use ethnicity and religion to divide Nigerians, the campaign to jettison the PVCs and Card Readers in favour of TVCs as well as the tenure elongation and interim government options
"That is why we are calling on all lovers of democracy to be vigilant in the run-up to the rescheduled polls, and for them to insist that nothing but the holding of the elections will be acceptable to Nigerians," it said.