Buhari plotting to use military to rig elections — PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party on Saturday said it was opposed to military exercise Egwu Eke III also called Operation Python Dance  in the country between January 1 and February 28.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, had said the exercise was aimed at tackling  security challenges facing the country  ahead of  the 2019 general elections.

But the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan,  in a statement alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari was plotting to use the exercise  to intimidate voters and rig the 2019 presidential election.

Ologbondiyan, who is also the Director, Media and Publicity, PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation,  claimed that Operation Python Dance   was also geared towards  creating   the feeling of insecurity ahead of the polls.

He said, “Our investigation shows that part of the plot is to use the military operation as a subterfuge to unleash a heavy security presence to intimidate, harass and instil fear in voters in  the PDP’s  strongholds across the country and pave the way for the allocation of fictitious votes to President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress.

“Further investigation revealed that agents of the Buhari presidency are working in cahoots with some compromised top officials of the Prof Mahmood Yakubu-led Independent National Electoral Commission  to use soldiers to provide cover for the diversion of electoral materials as well as aiding  APC agents in their plan to unleash violence and disrupt the electoral process in areas where the PDP is winning.

“In spanning the military operation to February 28, 2019, the Buhari presidency betrayed its anticipation of public rejection or violence, which can only come when a result that does not reflect the actual wish of the people is announced.”

Ologbondiyan believed  that Nigerians were  eager for a new President, having lost confidence in Buhari due to his alleged failure in leading the country.

He said, “The PDP PCO, therefore, rejects this deliberate attempt by the Buhari presidency to set our military on a collision course with Nigerians, bearing in mind the collateral damage that usually occurs whenever the civilian population clashes with military.

“Our nation is a democratic state and we are not in a state of emergency that requires the militarisation of our electoral process.

“Our military, which is cherished by Nigerians, should therefore foreclose any attempt by the Buhari presidency to use it to set our country on fire.”
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