We won’t waste our time replying CUPP — APC
By Dapo Akinrefon & Dirisu Yakubu
With barely six weeks to the 2019 general elections, the Coalition of United Political Parties, CUPP, the umbrella body of opposition parties in the country, has again raised alarm over what it called plot by the Presidency to rig the polls.
The coalition said an unholy collaboration among the trio of the Presidency; the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and security forces might culminate in the declaration of fake results.
According to CUPP, this may elicit mass protest which the government will attempt to quell with state power.
But the APC, in a swift reaction, said it would not waste its time responding to the CUPP’s claims.
APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Isa-Onilu, said in a statement: ‘’CUPP can say anything; they can take a full page in a newspaper. I won’t be replying them.’’
The CUPP in a statement issued by its first spokesman, Ikenga Ugochinyere, yesterday, also drew the attention of Nigerians to plans by the President Buhari administration to deploy military personnel across the country ahead of the polls.
“The Coalition of United Political Parties has raised alarm over the unholy collaboration between the Presidency, the ruling APC and the leadership of the Nigerian security forces to rig the 2019 Presidential elections, announce fake results and deploy lethal force to quell the expected popular resistance. This has come to light with the unprecedented move of the Nigerian Army to put the entire country on military lock down from 28th December, 2018 to 28th February, 2019 in a manoeuvre termed Operation Python Dance III.
“We hold that by law, it is only the President and Commander-In-Chief that can deploy the military. We wonder why the President acknowledges that failure and inability of the Inspector General of Police, IGP, to maintain law and order by deploying the military in one breathe and yet in another is neck deep in the plot to extend the tenure of the IGP.
“If there was really any genuine desire to checkmate those plotting violence during the elections, why was the exercise not extended to after the governorship elections? The desire of the Presidency is just to use the security forces to foist an unpopular President Buhari on the people,” the statement read in part.
The coalition also alleged plot by the electoral umpire to allow itself to be compromised in the conduct of the polls. It said:, “Our credible intelligence also have shown that apart from the security plots, several compromised Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC officials have been recruited by Hajia Amina Zakari and are currently undergoing special training.
“Police Special Forces are also undergoing drills on what to do and we shall expose them if they are deployed for election rigging exercise.
“No wonder the President is adamant on unlawfully retaining the Inspector General of Police beyond his legal tenure. The Special Forces are to be deployed to the various states under the command of selected APC chieftains who shall be issuing directives on what should be done. We shall soon obtain the list of deployments and the APC leaders who shall be in command and we shall make same available to the people.”
The group called on President Buhari to prioritize the lives of Nigerians being lost in large numbers in Zamfara, Plateau, Southern Kaduna, Borno and several other parts of the country rather be fixated on his re-election bid.
“President Buhari has abandoned governance and is only concentrating on the elections and the value of human life is at its cheapest since this 4th Republic. It sends chills down the spine of all discerning Nigerians how a President’s priority is to deploy security for the purpose of elections when he has vehemently refused to deploy security to halt the activities of the bandits in the killing fields of Zamfara, Southern Kaduna and Northern Borno.
“President Buhari has lost it and Nigerians know that. To this end, the least Nigerians expect from the Nigerian Army is to maintain fidelity to the Constitution of Nigeria and rules of professional engagement and not allow themselves to be used to plunge our dear country into a situation of unavoidable hiatus and political quagmire.
“We urge them, therefore, to concentrate effort on their primary responsibility which is to protect the territorial integrity of Nigeria and refuse to accede to the unpatriotic desire of politicians as anyone who yields to such unpatriotic desires will be held personally responsible in the fullness of time.
“The Opposition Code 20 which will soon be officially launched will be in full gear by the election date and no acts of rigging will be condoned or tolerated.”