The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and its presidential flagbearer, President Muhammadu Buhari, of using the visit of the Nigerien governors during its campaign in Kano State, to import miscreants into the country.
The PDP also alleged that Buhari and APC rented a crowd for the Kano rally, because they could not mobilise Nigerians.
The opposition further alleged that the APC and Buhari are accommodating the foreigners for use in an alleged violence planned ahead of the February 16 elections.
PDP spoke through its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan who doubles as the Director, Media and Publicity of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, during a press conference in Abuja on Friday.
The party said, “President Buhari and the APC, in their desperation, have compromised our territorial integrity as a nation and this portends grave danger to our national security and the sanctity of our electoral process.
“Our security agencies must immediately investigate and lay in the public domain the circumstances leading to their presence, which more or less confirms that the APC has lost all domestic credibility and has assumed a desperate mode.
“The presence of the Niger Republic governors at President Buhari’s rally signposts a direct assault on the credibility of the presidential election. This is particularly against the backdrop of INEC’s plans to allow Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in that country to vote in our election, a situation that opens the way for aliens to infiltrate as IDPs and participate in our elections.
“Our apprehensions are accentuated by INEC’s recent mass creation of additional polling units which have not been properly designated and which may be deployed for the perpetration of monumental electoral fraud. We note how Kano State, in 2015, delivered 1.9 million votes to the APC presidential candidate in circumstances devoid of transparency and credulity,” he said.
“For a nation contending with insurgency and banditry, the involvement of mercenaries from neighbouring countries in the APC rally must be condemned by all and sundry. This is particularly against the backdrop of claims by President Buhari that killer herdsmen ravaging our nation are mercenaries who are infiltrating from the Sahel region.
“Nigerians can now see the unfolding of the plots by agents the APC to use mercenaries from neighbouring countries to precipitate crisis with the aim of scuttling the 2019 general election, having realised that they cannot win in a free, fair and credible election.
“Now we understand the weight of the submission by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major-General Babagana Monguno (rtd), when he stated recently that ‘unscrupulous elements are already mobilising merchants of violence, including armed bandits and terrorists to orchestrate violence during the elections in several states of the federation.’
“Similarly, Nigerians can also decode the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, when he stated recently that; ‘there is also an international dimension to the evil plan. Some armed mercenaries from the Niger Republic have been contracted to attack top government functionaries, including state governors, across the North-West between now and the elections.’
“Today, Nigerians need no further evidence of those planning evil against our nation.
“Already, there are apprehensions that miscreants who came from Niger Republic to President Buhari’s rally are being offered accommodation in our country by the APC to unleash violence immediately it is clear that President Buhari is losing in the February 16 presidential election.
“On account of these, PDP demands an urgent and thorough investigation into the circumstances leading to the presence of politicians and thugs from Niger Republic at the APC presidential rally in Kano on Thursday.
“What was the true purpose of the invitation of these foreigners to the APC rally in Kano on Thursday? What secret deals did APC leaders make with them at the expense of our national security?
“It begs the question how a government that vilified credible international bodies that genuinely advised on the need for a free and fair election as interfering in our elections would now be spending public resources to rent political mercenaries from neighbouring countries.
“We know that APC’s jettisoning of our territorial integrity and national security to hire crowds from Niger Republic is borne out of frustration over the recent successes and massive turnout of supporters at PDP rallies held in the North West.
“The spontaneous and mammoth turnouts of supporters and admirers of the PDP as well as the people’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, even in the APC’s supposed strongholds in the North West states of Kaduna, Jigawa, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi and Kano has no doubt discomfited the APC and its presidential candidate.”