The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has reacted to claims made by the former President Olusegun Obasanjo that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is planning to rig the forthcoming general elections.
In reaction, The APC spokesperson, Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu while addressing a press conference in Abuja on Sunday, assured Nigerians that the APC-led administration would not interfere with the conduct of free and fair elections.
The party also noted that Obasanjo’s position should not be seen as a surprising development in view of the controversy that trailed the 2007 and 2011 poll when his former party People’s Democratic Party was at the helm of affairs of the country. Issa-Onilu said:
“For 8 years of President Obasanjo, all the elections held, in fact, government policies were determined by whatever mood he found himself.”
“All the institutions of government were brought under his whims. And what he did for those 8 years is what is haunting him.”
“He cannot imagine that it is possible for a government to allow INEC the statutory independence that it has. We have had about 93 or more elections since APC came to power and you can be sure that all those elections were conducted without any interference from this government.
“In fact, if there is anything you want to credit this government for, one of the major work is the fact that institutions were allowed to fulfil their mandate without anybody interfering.
“So we can understand where the former president is coming from. He must have looked back at the books of when he was president and thought clearly that if they used the same method that he used this is what is going to happen. 2003 and 2007 elections were nothing to write home about. Those happened under President Obasanjo. We all knew how the election went.
“So for us in APC, votes would count. We are going to have a free, fair and credible election. We have no reason to want to rig election. Our achievements speak for us. President Obasanjo should adjust himself to the reality of the imminent defeat as it is staring him in the face.
“He has carried himself about as the dispenser of our destiny and God is showing him clearly that he has just only been lucky and the favour that God has done to him he has considered them as the things that are coming from himself.
“This election would come. It would be free and fair. APC doesn’t have any reason to rig it. He has seen all the rallies we have done. The same party, the PDP that said our president is going to campaign by proxy is the same party that is now showing the concern about the fact that our president is doing too much in terms of the rallies he has been attending. What a shame. So for us Obasanjo should adjust himself to the reality that after February 16, he would realize he is not God.”
The party further stated that the decision by the presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to boycott the presidential debate was a pointer that he has absolutely nothing to offer Nigerians.
The party warned Nigerians to be wary of voting for Atiku adding it has every reason that he would go out of his ways to sell public owned properties like the Nigerian national petroleum corporation (NNPC) to himself and his cronies to the detriments of Nigerians.
The party rose in defense of the decision by President Buhari not to attend the presidential debate on the basis that he had been rendering the account of his performance for the past three years in various fora, including the ongoing APC nationwide campaign rallies.