The All Progressives Congress, (APC), Nigeria’s ruling party, has just issued a press release alleging how the main opposition party – the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) plans to invade collation centres with thugs with a view to rendering the election inconclusive. On the surface of it, there is something dangerous and worrisome about the press release. But there is also something paradoxical about it.
The source of the intelligence relied upon to issue the alert makes it more of an alarmist than an alerting move. The APC says it has been told what it is alleging by “insiders within the PDP Campaign Council who are making last-minute efforts to switch allegiance to President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress”. That touch of propaganda that opens the statement is what keen sighted observers are pointing at all the problem with what would have otherwise been a very meaningful exercise.
The question being asked is why should Nigerians take seriously an intelligence from people who are switching from their original party to a presumed winning party at a crucial moment like this seriously? Would that not be rewarding opportunism at the expense of right moral values?
If the intelligence came from the DSS, then it could be said that no matter what, there must be some level of professionalism and concern for the state in it. Is it possible that the APC imagination could not find any other more credible? How does anybody cross-check this?
Observers are also wondering why it is important for the press release to contain this sentence: There is no cause for any political party at this stage to jubilate or be dejected. Anyway, the statement reads in full below just for record purposes and the implications of what it implies:
PRESS RELEASE BY APC PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN COUNCIL:
A CLARION CALL FOR NATIONWIDE SECURITY ALERT
It has come to our knowledge from insiders within the PDP Campaign Council who are making last-minute efforts to switch allegiance to President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress that the PDP is currently recruiting armed thugs and miscreants nationwide to attack ward and local government collation centres this evening till the wee hours of tomorrow morning.
The purpose is to disrupt the collation process of the elections nationwide in order to cause crises and make this election inclusive. As we know, most of these collation centres are usually in schools or other places that are poorly protected.
This is therefore a clarion call to all law enforcement agencies to mobilise extra armed security to protect all collation centres nationwide. We also appeal to Nigerians of goodwill and our supporters to provide standby electricity this night at these collation centres.
We also call on all our party agents, supporters and patriotic Nigerians to stick with these election results from the various units up to the State Collation Centres. There is no cause for any political party at this stage to jubilate or be dejected. Nothing has been won and nothing has been lost. Official results have not been declared. Hence we call for eternal vigilance on the part of our agents and supporters.
We repeat: NOBODY SHOULD JUBILATE NOW AND ABANDON HIS/HER DUTIES. LET US KEEP OUR FEET FIRMLY ON THE GROUND AND STICK WITH OUR ASSIGNED ROLE(S) UNTIL FINAL RESULTS ARE DECLARED BY INEC.
FESTUS KEYAMO, SAN, FCIArb (UK)
Director, Strategic Communications,
APC Presidential Campaign Council