The All Progressives Congress (APC) has strongly condemned the reported plan by the advocates of the postponement of next month’s general elections to sponsor protests across the country against INEC as a way of forcing the commission to shift the elections, scheduled for Feb. 14th and 28th.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Friday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said those pushing for the elections to be shifted are 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 parts of the country.
It said even if the NYSC 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
”It has also come to our notice that these election-shift proponents are holding clandestine meetings with various groups, including a section of the media, to recruit them for their dubious campaigns to force a postponement of the election,” APC said, adding, however, that all the shenanigans of the election-shift advocates will fail, as Nigerians have seen through them and have stepped up their collection of PVCs in readiness for the elections.
”The assurances by INEC, that 65 million PVCs are now ready and that the remaining 3.8 million will be ready in due course have heightened the belief among Nigerians that the electoral umpire is indeed ready, willing and able to conduct the elections as scheduled.
”That is why we are surprised that instead of encouraging Nigerians who have not done so to go and collect their PVCs, instead of heeding the advice for the declaration of a three-day public holidays to enable working class people to collect their PVCs, all they are interested in is how to sponsor various dubious individuals and groups to stage protests against INEC.
”The PDP has variously said it is ready for the elections as scheduled, but not once has it urged Nigerians to go and collect their PVCs, knowing full well that the problem now is more of collection than anything else. The Presidency has also not made any effort to encourage Nigerians to collect their PVCs. Instead, it has been openly pushing for the elections to be shifted on the basis of inadequate PVC distribution, as shown by the call in London recently by the National Security Adviser.
”Undoubtedly, public funds have been deployed to sponsor ‘talking heads’ to make the TV rounds to parrot the lies that over 30 million voters have yet to collect their PVCs, when INEC has said 42.7 million out of 68.8 million PVCs have been collected, and that it will distribute PVCs until the eve of the polls These anti-election antics are too glaring for Nigerians not to notice. The dirty tricks point to one and one thing only: The PDP and the Presidency are mortally terrified of the elections being held as scheduled, because they know they will surely lose,” APC said.
The party called on INEC to urgently decentralize the distribution of the PVCs to the polling units to enhance collection efforts, while appealing to Nigerians to make extra efforts to collect their PVCs so that the PDP and the Presidency will run out of excuses for trying to dodge the elections.
”On our part, we will continue with our campaign for Nigerians to collect their PVCs, and we hereby re-state our stand that under no circumstances shall we accept the postponement of the elections. We are ready for the Feb. 14th and 28th general elections,” it said.