By Rotimi Ijikanmi
#TrackNigeria: The Federal Government has alleged that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is laying the groundwork for a constitutional crisis by unleashing its “talking heads” to claim victory in the Saturday election, even when INEC has yet to announce the results.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the allegation on behalf of the government in a statement issued in Oro, Kwara State, on Monday.
He alleged that the PDP’s claim to victory in the polls through its spokespersons, including Buba Galadima, Osita Chidoka and Femi Fani-Kayode, was an action that amounted to a clear case of impunity.
He therefore, warned the “desperate opposition” against the plans to truncate the electoral process, render the Feb. 23 elections inconclusive, trigger a constitutional crisis and push for an interim government.
The minister stressed that by usurping the role of INEC through the announcement of result, the PDP has violated the Electoral Act and should face very serious consequences.
”By announcing the result and saying they have won the Feb. 23 election, the PDP is deliberately seeking to confuse the polity and lay the foundation for rejecting the outcome if, when INEC eventually announces the result, the party does not win.
”This confirms what we said in a series of pre-election press conferences, that the PDP – realising it cannot win a free and fair election – will do everything possible to scuttle the polls.
“If the party failed it will proceed to the next stage, which is to discredit the entire electoral process, including the result, with the ultimate aim of precipitating a constitutional crisis and pushing for an interim government,” he said.
The Minister also recalled the alarm raised by the Federal Government over the PDP’s decision to set up a parallel electoral body, under the tag of Parallel Voting Tabulation (PVT) System.
He recalled that the opposition party had described the PVT as a tool that will determine whether or not it accepts the results of the elections.
”We said, then, that while it is standard practice for political parties to have their own monitoring systems during elections, what is not standard is to set up a pseudo electoral commission and imbue it with the power to collate and announce results.
“This is what the PDP is now doing under the guise of PVT. Unfortunately, our warning has proven to be prescient,” he said.
Mohammed wondered why those who paraded themselves as democrats would show such disdain for the electoral process, which is a key ingredient of democracy.
He called on the security agencies to nip in the bud the constitutional crisis that the PDP is working frantically to trigger, by immediately arresting and prosecuting anyone who announces the result of last Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections. (NAN)