The All Progressives Congress has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of deploying intimidation and blackmail tactics against the APC, President Muhammadu Buhari administration, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other state institutions ahead of the general election.
In a statement issued by the its National Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, on Thursday, February 7, 2019, the APC said PDP's "attempt to demonise" the ruling party would not affect President Buhari's "emphatic victory" at the Saturday, February 16, 2019 poll.
"We have watched how panicky leaders of the PDP have become, having realised that they are heading for a crushing and humiliating defeat in the forthcoming general election," Onilu said.
“In their confused and pitiable state, they have unconscionably hurled pedestrian allegations of partisanship and partiality against INEC and other state institutions.
“The PDP leaders strategy is to regularly call out INEC and allege partiality towards the APC, thereby creating doubts in the minds of Nigerians and international community about the independence and credibility of the electoral body.
“This is one of the odious antics of a desperate party that wants to hijack presidential power, not on the strength of having a credible alternative, but on the strength of selfish propaganda with which they mask their real motivation for seeking a return to power -- plundering of the public treasury.
“We call on Nigerians to judge between the APC and the PDP, who can be said to have been favoured by INEC when one considers how the electoral body had initially barred the APC from fielding candidates in Zamfara and Rivers States in the forthcoming elections. Less than two weeks to elections, our party is still in courts to seek justice from INEC to enable us field candidates. Notwithstanding our protests, calling INEC's attention to the fact that the PDP didn't conduct any primaries in Kano State, the electoral body has opted to look the other way even in the face of glaring evidence.
“It is clear that the PDP is only interested in getting to power on a stolen mandate. It was not surprising that the PDP celebrated INEC’s initial decisions on Zamafara and Rivers because the PDP knows they stand no chance against the APC candidates in a free and fair election."
The APC also expressed shock on PDP's allegation that the distribution of Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) "is being hampered by INEC to disenfranchise supposed PDP supporters."
“How could anyone have known the political party affiliations of those who are yet to collect their PVCs such that the process of disenfrachising them was activated by INEC to favour the APC?" Issa-Onilu queried in the statement.
“The PDP and its leaders cannot hold the APC responsible for their electoral misfortunes. PDP administration's antecedents of treasury looting, mismanagement of the economy and widespread insecurity have put a big wedge between them and the Nigerian people.
“There is no doubt that the PDP will be roundly rejected at the forthcoming general election. On our part, we are confident that Nigerians will renew our mandate on the basis of our verifiable and multi-sector record of performance under the leadership of President Buhari.”
The 2019 presidential election would be keenly contested by the the incumbent, Muhammadu Buhari, former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, and over 70 other candidates.