The All Progressives Congress, APC, has reacted to threats by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to boycott the 2019 general elections, saying such threat was borne out of the fact that the opposition party now understands that its end is near.
National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole stated this at the weekend when he received the report of the Gov. Abdulaziz Yari-led Governorship Primary Election Committee for Osun state.
While he declared that the ruling party was not desperate with regards to the next general elections, Oshiomhole added that the PDP has continued to press the panic button because its rigging machine has been dismantled while it no longer had free access to federal resources.
“Let me also use this opportunity to comment on what l read about the PDP chairman. I heard him threatening that they may boycott the 2019 general elections. When a rabbit in the afternoon jumps out of its hole, not because the hunter has come to smoke it out and it is running, you will know that it has already seen its end. The truth is that we are not desperate, we have worked hard to defeat PDP while they were in power, when they had no faction, when all the founding fathers and founding mothers were in the same house. Nigerian people rejected them on account of 16 years of absolute miss-rule at the peak of our property as a nation when oil sold for $140 per barrel and we came in when oil price has dropped. If with all those huge revenue that accrued to them, people complained of bad roads whether from the South to East from the North to the West, they have nothing new to offer to the Nigerian people.
“I think they are haunted by their own ghost and this is because they had perpetrated a do-or-die politics and they are on record that election matters are do-or-die affairs. One of their old men was recorded as saying that they perfected the language of rigging. Now, rigging machines have been dismantled and their problem is how can they survive without it. The glue that held them together, which was cheap money from the treasury, again that has been caught off and what they already have, like a typical village sheep they may be chewing it all day, all night; now after three and half years, it almost seems that they have finished all they had taken and now they are worried”, he said.
On the forthcoming governorship election in Osun state, the party chairman expressed optimism that the APC would retain power in the state.
He said; “First, l am very excited that you did a fantastic job, because we are going to try a new method, we needed men and women of integrity, who cannot be compromised, who have the courage and from my interaction are people any day anywhere they can stand their grounds on what they believe in. You can’t influence them, you can’t buy them, you can’t bend, you will either agree to stand by the truth or you fall out and l am glad that you have brought all of those qualities to bear and the result is that we have a panel which people could not question its integrity.
“So, I want to thank you for accepting this assignment. We accept this report in line with the provisions of our constitution and we have set up, in line with our rules, an appeal panel because however clean a report appears to be members of our party who may be aggrieved either for the right reasons or for the wrong reasons, they have the right of appeal that our party constitution provides for.
“So, should there be any of the aspirants who participated and who has reasons to question the outcome of the election, they have the right to file an appeal…and the appeal panel would be chaired by Distinguished Sen. Domingo Obende, Dr. Aminu Hameed as secretary and Prof. Hamas Bakori as member. This three member panel are again, gentlemen of proven integrity whom we believe can listen to any appeal arising from the exercise and scrutinize the procedures and the reports that have been given. Hear people out and recommend to us their findings and after which we will submit the name as appropriate to INEC as provided for under our rules.
“Let me say that l am happy that from your observation, you believe that over 200, 000 APC members participated in selecting the candidate. What that simply means is that even without any additional efforts we can be rest assured that those 200, 000 card carrying APC members that participated in full freedom to chose the candidate, they would naturally proceed to campaign for him around their neighborhood.
“Again, l am excited because this election went without allegation of money changing hands; this is not so. How are you going to bribe over 200, 000 people and l understand that this number could have even been higher but for the fact that those who have joined us recently, they have not been formally registered and their names not included in our data bank. Now we are going to open up to ensure that all those thousands of people who have joined the party across the country enter our register.
“When we do that, you will find that if those numbers come out to nominate, they would proceed to ensure that the person wins. I think it is a very positive report and also the way you approach it. If the people had cause to doubt you they would have boycotted the process but they all have confidence in the quality of the electoral panel chaired by His Excellency. We will find as much flexibility to use this method where it is appropriate and another where it is appropriate. The important thing is that the NWC must see ourselves for what we are.
“So, our message to PDP is clear. Your Excellency, you come from the opposition party in the past, I also come from an opposition party and we knew that we didn’t have a rigging machine, the only thing we had was instrument of persuasion, mobilization, explaining to people, convincing people and aligning with them and understanding that democracy was with the people at the grassroots.
“But those who have lived on rigging machines, the one we call Ward 16, they are based in Abuja and there only access is to where electronics and papers exist. Those ones at old age, they can’t possibly learn new tricks and they can’t master the dialogue of electioneering which is why they got stuck in Ekiti and l am sure they would be flat in Osun”, he added