The Federal Government says the statements by the US and UK on election rigging in Nigeria have confirmed its recent alert that opposition elements are working to scuttle the 2019 polls through widespread violence.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who said this in a statement issued in Ilorin on Friday said the Government welcomed the statements from the US and UK demanding credible and peaceful election in Nigeria.
He said that Government also welcomed the threat of punitive measures against election riggers and perpetrators of electoral violence.
In the statement signed by his Special Adviser, Mr Segun Adeyemi, the minister said the Government was particularly delighted that the statements came after it alerted the nation to the plot by opposition to scuttle the polls.
”A few days ago, we alerted the nation to the plot by the opposition to orchestrate widespread violence in the country, using insurgents and criminal elements within and outside the country.
”Their plan is to scuttle the election and then push for an interim government, having realized they can’t win a free, fair, credible and peaceful elections.
”The fact that those statements came after we issued our red alert, which is based on credible intelligence, shows that the international community is closely monitoring events ahead of the election.
“We urge them to keep a close tab on the desperate opposition, whose language, actions and undisguised threats are antithetical to the conduct of peaceful polls,” he said.
The minister said Nigerians and the international community should
take seriously the assurance of a credible and violence-free election that has been consistently given by President Muhammadu Buhari, a tried-and-tested democrat and a globally-acclaimed man of integrity.
He said the APC-led administration was very confident of victory in the forthcoming elections.
The minister stressed that a party that was not so desperate as to rig election while in opposition had no business rigging election or perpetrating violence now that it is in power and is enjoying massive support from the citizenry.
He called on the international community to keep a close eye
on those who are spending more time on a dubious strategy of scuttling the polls than campaigning to win in a free, fair and peaceful election.
”As their campaign flounders and their strategies collapse, they have resorted to seeking power by subterfuge.
“That is why they are doing everything possible to discredit an election that has yet to be held by unleashing their attack dogs on INEC, the police and the entire electoral process.
”On our part, we have confidence in the electoral process and the institutions saddled with organizing and securing the election.
”That is why we have been busy campaigning vigorously across the country, attracting unprecedented, organic crowds everywhere we go.
”The party that has a history of rigging polls is well known to Nigerians.
”The party that has a history of using security forces to unleash violence in order to steal the people’s votes is well known to Nigerians.
”The party that organised an election that was later described as flawed by its own ‘winning’ presidential candidate is well known to Nigerians.
“That party is not the All Progressives Congress (APC),” he said.
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