Director of Media and Publicity of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation (PDPPCO), Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has responded to the allegations by the All Progressive Congress (APC) that President Goodluck Jonathan planned to rig Saturday’s governorship election in Lagos in favour of the candidate of the PDP, Mr Jimi Agbaje.
According to him, the APC was in panic mode because it knew that Agbaje was going to win the election.
Fani-Kayode, in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja, said “this is the first time in 16 years that the APC together with the opposition tendencies it represents is facing a formidable challenge from a governorship candidate of the PDP, Mr Agbaje”.
His words: “Once again the APC has degenerated into a party of liars who have little or no shame. It is not true that the President has any rigging plan for Lagos and neither do we need any such plan because our party is very strong there.
“The problem that the APC has and the reason that they make such asinine and stupid allegations is because they actually believe that they own Lagos state and all those that live there.
“They are now in a state of panic because for the first time in 16 years they are facing a formidable challenge and they know that Jimi Agbaje of the PDP is likely to win. The truth is that there was no secret meeting in which rigging was planned by the President and neither is it true that materials were smuggled in to rig Lagos state.
“The only people that are interested in rigging and in milking any cash cows are the APC themselves and they can rest assured that we will resist them at all levels. We will not only keep them on their toes at the Federal level by being eternally vigilant but we will also provide them with the most aggressive, relentless, focused and assertive opposition that Nigeria has ever known.”
Fani-Kayode said President Jonathan simply conceded defeat in the Presidential election “but this does not in any way mean that the PDP has lost its nerve and neither does it represent a capitulation of our convictions or a collapse of its firm resolve”.
Continuing he said, “We shall continue to assist in moving this great country forward and to contribute to public discourse and national affairs.
“Jonathan conceded defeat and congratulated General Buhari even though there were many question marks about the card readers, the role of INEC and the so-called votes that APC allegedly won in Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Kaduna and in one or two others places in the north.
“The figures for the APC were inflated in those states whilst the votes that Jonathan scored were purposely suppressed and reduced in places like Abia and other parts of the east by INEC. This is the bitter truth even though many people are reluctant to say it or admit it.”
He continued that, “Till today, many of us are wondering what really happened to the INEC commissioner in Kano and whether it is true that he and his whole family were murdered after he privately expressed his misgivings and regrets about inflating the figures for the APC during the presidential elections.
“Rather than spitting in Jonathan’s face and rejecting his friendly handshake by accusing him of plotting to rig Lagos, the APC should keep their mouths shut and bury their heads in shame for what they and their friends in INEC did during the presidential election.
“They should thank their lucky stars that we have a President who saw fit to concede victory and behave like a gentleman rather than cause a stir by rejecting the results and going to court.
“President Jonathan chose that course and opted for a peaceful resolution only out of concern for the stability of our country and for the sake of the welfare and peace of Nigeria.
“If he had done anything else or if he had protested the results of the election many innocent people, including our members and supporters, would have been slaughtered like flies all over the north and everyone knows this.
“Despite our peaceful and law-abiding disposition the APC should not mistake our gentility, our willingness to overlook their criminal behavior and our readiness to let bygones be bygones as weakness.
“The truth is that even with all the rigging that they did in the presidential elections they only defeated us by 2 million votes. Their candidate got 14 million votes whilst ours got 12 million. Only a set of madmen and imbeciles would want to test the will or try the patience of a political party whose candidate got 12 million votes in the presidential election and only a fool would continue to underestimate the strength and clout of President Jonathan and the PDP.
“The more the APC makes baseless and absurd allegations against our President and our party, the more we shall question their so-called victory at the presidential election and expose the truth. They should enjoy their so-called victory at the federal level quietly and stop attempting to intimidate us, disturb our peace or label us as a party of riggers.
“They have also accused us of using ethnicity and religion in politics. This is absolute rubbish and it is a lie from the pit of hell. With what the Oba of Lagos said a few days ago we know which party is led by the ethnic and religious bigots in Nigerian politics and that party is not the PDP.
“It is the leadership of the APC and not the PDP that used religion and is still using religion in a shameful and provocative manner to garner votes and to win popular support in this country regardless of the dangerous consequences of doing so.
“We reject their sordid allegations and claims and we look forward to winning convincingly in Lagos, Rivers, Delta, Taraba and many other states in the April 11th elections.
“Whether anyone likes it or not the PDP is here to stay. Our heads may have been bloodied but they are not bowed. We shall continue to make our contributions to national discourse, we shall continue to engage our adversaries in the political space and we shall continue to fight our corner come what may”.