Despite a warning by the Department of State Security Services against inflammatory statements by politicians, the All Progressives Congress on Saturday reiterated its threat to form a parallel government if the February 14 presidential election was rigged to hand President Goodluck Jonathan a second term. APC, however, expressed its readiness to congratulate the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party if he won re-election in a transparent and credible process. The national chairman of APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, stated this in a New Year message, which he personally signed.
But APC did not say if it would be the judge and jury to decide if elections were rigged.
This was as the race for the presidency entered its final stages, with PDP fixing January 8 for the kick-off of its nationwide presidential election campaign in Lagos, and APC scheduling a presidential campaign rally for January 5 in Rivers State. Although, it is not clear if the proposed rally would mark the formal commencement of APC’s nationwide presidential campaign.
The PDP national publicity secretary, Olisa Metuh; head, media and publicity of the presidential campaign team, Femi Fani Kayode; and deputy national chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, were among key party officials that confirmed the campaign kick-off arrangements at the weekend.
Though, the main opposition party, APC, is yet to announce a date for the start of its presidential campaign, indications are that it may be launched this week at the resumption of work after the Yuletide and Eid el Maulud holidays.
Odigie-oyegun said in the statement released at the weekend, “As a party, we assure you that we will congratulate President Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party if our presidential election candidate and the party are defeated in free and fair elections and will not go to court.
“However, as a party, we wish to reiterate that we will not hesitate to consider forming a parallel government if the 2015 elections are rigged either by use of security agencies (police and military) to harass, intimidate and cajole voters or through the use of a compromised Independent National Electoral Commission.”
The APC national chairman congratulated Nigerians on the Christmas, Eid el Maulud, and New Year celebrations, but stressed, “We are aware that it has been bleak celebrations for all of us because of the poor performance of the economy, litany of failed promises and general decay in governance in our dear country, including unpaid salaries, which is as a result of the drop in the state and local government revenues.
“The drop in state and local government revenue is as a result of corruption in government, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and oil theft supervised by government. We ask all Nigerians to exercise fortitude because the change we seek is almost here.
“We wish to also remind you that the change we expect will be a consequence of your action. That action will be to vote massively for the All Progressives Congress in the next election to herald a new dawn and bid farewell to the failed leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party.
“We ask you to collectively insist on free, fair and transparent elections because that is the only way to allow the wishes of the people to manifest.”