While the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) still feels aggrieved over the outcome of last Saturday’s presidential election and intends to contest it in court, it also has its eyes set on the governorship and state assembly elections scheduled for next week. It has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of hatching plans to work with the Nigerian military to lay siege on the South-South, ahead of the governorship elections set for March 9.
Backstory: Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, made this known on Thursday, while addressing a press conference in Abuja.
“It is clear that after using military to unleash violence, alter results and muscle out fabricated 25 per cent ballot for President Muhammadu Buhari across the South-South states and other PDP strongholds, APC now wants to use the military to fight our governors, suppress our members and forcibly take over our states.
“Nigerians already know how APC leaders from South-South are going around boasting that the military will use violence to give them governorship election triumph the same way it did during the presidential election, where innocent Nigerians were brutalized and murdered,” he said.
He however expressed his belief in the people of the Niger Delta, stating that the people of the region have never allowed themselves to be suppressed and won’t start now. He warned the APC against inciting the “legitimate anger of the people.”
Military Maintains its Neutrality: In response to the allegation, the Defence Headquarters has warned politicians to avoid dragging the milltary into their back and forth political issues, as the military remains apolitical.
Speaking on behalf of the army, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu said, “The Armed Forces of Nigeria is apolitical and non-partisan as have been severally posited and demonstrated by the Chief of Defence Staff and other service chiefs as well as the personnel in the recently concluded general elections.
“In the ongoing electioneering, we are not the lead security agency. Our role is supportive. We urge all politicians to please desist from dragging the Nigerian military into the murky water of politics. We remain apolitical.”
Bottom Line: Nobody believes the military. On Saturday, it was clear to see the Army’s partisanship in many Southern states where it harassed supporters of the opposition and intimidates electoral officials in some instances like in Rivers state. The PDP won in all the states in the South South, but the region saw the biggest decline in voters turnout among all the geopolitical zones compared to 2015, dropping from 56% to 28%.