Uche Secondus, national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says the All Progressives Congress (APC) is “desperate to capture” Edo state in the September 19 governorship election.
Reacting to the viral video of Adams Oshiomhole, former national chairman of the APC, and Ibrahim Gambari, chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, discussing at the presidential villa, Secondus said there is a plot to harass his party members in the election.
Although the conversation between the duo was not clear, few words indicated that the discussion was about the “arrest” of certain persons.
Some critics of the Buhari administration had said they were discussing the Edo election.
Secondus, who addressed a press conference at the PDP national headquarters in Abuja on Thursday, called on the national assembly to probe the video.
He said the conversation between the duo is an evidence that “the nation’s highest seat of power is being used for the hatching of plans to undermine democracy”.
“The PDP has watched with utmost concern the developing situation in Edo state. We have watched the growing desperation of the APC, and the Presidency to capture Edo state in the September 19 gubernatorial election at all cost,” the statement read.
“The Chief of staff to the President Prof Ibrahim Gambari is such a strategic staff that when he is involved in any underhand thing, the President cannot free himself from it. The constitution and the Electoral Act are clear on this type of blatant undermining of democracy by clamping down on the opposition.
“It’s very unfortunate that the numerous problems overwhelming the nation is not disturbing the President and his party but they are engaged in planning how to blackmail and arrest the opposition.
“It’s also in our findings that the several efforts of APC leaders to arm-twist the INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) into falling for their devious moves to shift the election.
“All these anti -democratic moves are all aimed at one thing; creating a constitutional logjam to disruption the election because they know they cannot win. As all these underhand moves are crumpling before their eyes, the discredited former Chairman of APC was smuggled into Aso Rock Villa to fine tune the rigging strategy for Edo.
“The leaked video which has been confirmed by the Presidency, says it all, the plan to arrest and keep away all opposition leaders and clear the way for the rigging machinery of APC to roll through.”
Secondus called on INEC and the judiciary to stand firm in defence of democracy and not yield to the “manipulative tendencies” of APC.
He said the opposition party will stand against any attempt to truncate the success of the gubernatorial elections in Edo and Ondo states.
Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, had dispelled the allegations, saying they are “misguided messaging” from mischief makers.
Shehu described the video as “an ingenious patchwork of mischief, extracted from an innocent conversation focused on the emerging incidents of violence in the run up to the election.”