By Ben Agande, Kaduna.
The Kaduna State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the state government of allegedly, massively mobilising and importing foreign mercenaries from within Nigeria and neighbouring countries to cause mayhem and facilitate rigging, “hence justifying the boast by the Governor of winning election by 1:00pm and that his re-election is a done deal.”
Addressing a press conference in Kaduna, state chairman of the party, Felix Hassan Hyat said desperate politicians, in a bid to outwit their opponents, are employing dangerous measures, some of which are capable of derailing the nation’s democracy.
According to him, the utterances of the state governor, Nasir El Rufai, in recent times are capable of threatening democracy.
Hyet was apparently responding to a recent allegation which claimed that governor El Rufai was privy to intelligence reports which indicated that the PDP was planning to disrupt the coming election because of imminent defeat.
He said, “It is with a heavy heart and deep concern over the threat to our democracy that we bring to your attention a dangerous and disturbing trend of pre-meditated, desperate narratives and provocative acts by the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai.
“It is obvious that the Governor, whose poor performance and empty propaganda for close to four years, has now resulted in the total loss of confidence and popularity.”
Continuing, Hyet said as follows:
“This is evident in the downward trend in terms of key performance indicators and sectorial outcome targets in key sectors that directly have impact on the welfare, livelihood and security of the good people of Kaduna State.
“We are deeply concerned that the Governor who has realised that the good people of Kaduna State have resolved to vote him out, is employing desperate measures that threaten our democracy, considering the fact that happenings in the State greatly have spill-over effect across the country because, it is a truism that when Kaduna sneezes, the Nigerian nation catches cold.
“The Governor has continuously turned a blind eye to kidnappings and killings especially in Birnin Gwari and Southern Kaduna. He has failed to adequately fund security agencies to fight these ugly crimes but is deploying huge public resources to champion his anti-people political agenda of self perpetuation in office.
“His Party members, as at the time, were not left out in his egocentric and draconian rule as he used a state agency to demolish the properties of fellow Party men who disagreed with his approach.
“Again, thugs suspected to be sponsored by key aides of the Governor attacked and injured many during a Press Conference by a faction of his Party men. In his characteristic self, he was captured on video and audio clips instigating his supporters to shave off the hair and beard of Senators that opposed his loan request which was rejected in the best interest of the good people of Kaduna State.
“As the 2019 General Elections draw nearer, his desperation level is at an all-time high with all available objective assessment showing that voters in the State are determined to send him packing. Considering the ethno-religious tension in the state, his decision to run a Muslim-Muslim ticket was received with mixed reactions.
“He has continued to re-echo the religious narrative which is obviously an early warning sign. His recent interview on Channels TV left much to be desired where he desperately sold the narrative that Christians do not like him because of his religion, also adding that ‘even if he picked the Pope as his running mate, Christians in the State will not vote for him. This is rather unfortunate!”
“The recruitment of vigilante, also known as Kato da Gora, many of whom have questionable records, is suspect. They are only being positioned to be used as ‘legitimate thugs’ during the elections, despite and contrary to the fact that the outfit is not recognized by INEC as part of the security apparatus. This is also hinged on the role they played during the last Local Government Council elections.
“There are allegations that there is mass mobilisation and importation of foreign mercenaries from within Nigeria and neighbouring countries to cause mayhem and facilitate rigging, hence justifying the boast by the Governor of winning election by 1:00pm and that his re-election is a done deal;
“Our impeccable sources revealed that the Governor and his Party, the APC compiled, proposed posting and submitted to INEC lists of all Ad-hoc Staff in the 23 Local Government Areas, Wards and Polling Units to facilitate his victory through the back door.
“Deduction of monies from LGA accounts to bribe INEC Staff to facilitate the above (c) plan: We observed that in their 2019 budget, some Local Governments have budgeted items for the elections, and we expect that those are the monies that will be used.
“Raising false alarm on alleged but unfounded security challenges in the State to justify the deployment of security personnel to be used to intimidate voters thereby paving way for altering or cancellations of results in areas he is very unpopular,” Hyet concluded.
Several calls to the spokesman of the governor, Samuel Aruwan, for his response were unanswered.
When our correspondent called again at 6:35 pm, his known number was switched off.