The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in its reaction to the announcement of the commencement of a nationwide military exercise (Operation Egwu Eke III) by the Nigerian Army, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of plotting to use the army to rig the 2019 general elections.
Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, had stated that the exercise was aimed at tackling security challenges in the country ahead of the 2019 general elections.
But the PDP in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, alleged that the President Buhari led APC government was only plotting to use the exercise to intimidate voters and rig the forthcoming elections.
He further alleged that the operation was geared towards creating the feeling of insecurity ahead of the elections in February.
“Our investigation shows that part of the plot is to use the military operation as a subterfuge to unleash a heavy security presence to intimidate, harass and instil fear in voters in the PDP’s strongholds across the country and pave the way for the allocation of fictitious votes to President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress.
“Further investigation revealed that agents of the Buhari presidency are working in cahoots with some compromised top officials of the Prof Mahmood Yakubu-led Independent National Electoral Commission to use soldiers to provide cover for the diversion of electoral materials as well as aiding APC agents in their plan to unleash violence and disrupt the electoral process in areas where the PDP is winning.
“In spanning the military operation to February 28, 2019, the Buhari presidency betrayed its anticipation of public rejection or violence, which can only come when a result that does not reflect the actual wish of the people is announced.”
“The PDP PCO, therefore, rejects this deliberate attempt by the Buhari presidency to set our military on a collision course with Nigerians, bearing in mind the collateral damage that usually occurs whenever the civilian population clashes with military.
“Our nation is a democratic state and we are not in a state of emergency that requires the militarisation of our electoral process.
“Our military, which is cherished by Nigerians, should therefore foreclose any attempt by the Buhari presidency to use it to set our country on fire.”