APC, PDP Trade Words Over Calls For Shift Of Polls


THE Presidency has denied allegations by the opposition All Progressives Congress that it was planning to sponsor protests all over the country against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to force the commission to shift the elections, scheduled for February 14 and 28.

   In a statement issued Saturday by the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Prof Rufai Ahmed Alkali, the Presidency accused the APC that through its members and supporters, it has been working to frustrate a free and fair electoral process, not the People Democratic Party (PDP) and the presidency as alleged by the opposition.

   The statement reads, “The attempt to denigrate the Presidency of Nigeria and drag it down the cesspit of vile propaganda and rumour mongering is unfortunate and signpost the APC’s disregard for our revered institutions.

   “Nigerians have seen President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan criss-cross the length and breadth of the country in the last one month to rousing receptions everywhere. This certainly is not the sign of someone who is frightened about elections or unprepared for same.

    “From our tours and the unprecedented outpour of goodwill, we are confident of a wider margin of victory than ever before. We are ready and fully prepared for this election.

   “We wish to draw the attention of Nigerians to the fact that it is the APC and their unruly supporters that have been doing everything possible to frustrate the conduct of a free and fair electoral process. They have consistently violated the Abuja Peace Accord through violent conducts in Katsina, Bauchi, Taraba, Gombe and Plateau States.”

   The All Progressives Congress, APC had Friday raised alarm over plans by those allegedly pushing for postponement of next month’s general elections to sponsor protests all over the country against the INEC in order to force the commission to shift the elections, scheduled for February 14 and 28.

   The party also disclosed in a statement issued in Lagos by its national publicity secretary, Lai Mohammed, that those pushing for the elections to be shifted were also seeking to instigate the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members who will serve as part of the ad hoc staff for INEC during the polls to say they do not feel safe to be part of the elections in certain sections of the country.

   APC, however, contended that even if the corps members refuse to participate in the elections in certain parts of the country, which will be within their right, there will be no shortage of those willing to serve as ad hoc staff.

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