Conference Of Nigeria Political Parties has warned that the Federal Government and security agencies, particularly the Police and the Department Of State Services (DSS) are appearing to be taking sides with the All Progressives Congress (APC) in recent post election events, saying that the Federal Government and it’s apparatus should not do the bidding of any political party if the country’s democracy must continue to transition from one administration to another without hitches.
The CNPP was reacting to post elections utterances of some political interests and the actions and inactions of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration as well as security agencies.
In a statement signed by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, the CNPP observed that “Our democracy will be in total jeopardy if the government chooses to take sides or resorts to use draconian measures to muzzle opposition voices in favour of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
“It beats the imagination of lovers of democracy that appointees of the Federal Government find it difficult to separate governance from particianship, thereby mixing governance with politics. The result is usually heating up the polity.“
Some instances have led to the believe that the Federal Government is supporting the APC against Nigerian opposition parties.
“In November 2014, the APC’s then National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, threatened to form a parallel government if the 2014 elections were rigged, confirming a statement credited to the then Governor of River State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi at an APC’s Salvation Rally, which he equally confirmed to be the stand taken by his party, the APC, before the then Osun State Governorship election.“Lai Mohammed said and we quote, “Those who are fretting about this statement are those who are planning to rig the elections and they should be warned that Nigerians will no longer accept the outcome of any fraudulent polls. Those who incite the people are those who steal their mandate”, he said and he was neither arrested nor threatened with treason.
“Also President Muhammadu Buhari, while contesting for Presidency in 2014, had also threatened that the dogs and the baboons will be soaked in blood on the streets should the election be rigged. He was neither arrested nor threatened with treason.
“In 2023, the APC in Rivers State, has threatened to mobilise its members to barricade the main entrance into the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Port Harcourt over the commission’s alleged refusal to release the certified true copies (CTC) of the just-concluded election results in the State. Nobody has harassed the APC leaders in the state.
“In Gombe State, at about March 10, 2023, it was reported that the Peoples Democratic Party asked security agencies to arrest the Gombe State campaign coordinator of the All Progressives Congress, Jamilu Gwamna, for allegedly issuing death threats to voters in Bolari West of the state.“
According to the report, Gwamna allegedly threatened parents in the area with “losing their children” should they allow their youths to vote for PDP. The security agencies are not prosecuting anybody in the state in connection with the threat.
“In Lagos State, voters were openly threatened not to go out to vote, while some were wounded and others allegedly died. Till date, no arrest has been made.
“Making the matter even laughable was a statement credited to the Nigeria Police where the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said that anyone with evidence against the Chairman of the Lagos State Parks and Garages Association, Musiliu Akinsaya, popularly known as MC Oluomo, can file a case of attack against him.
“This is after he had openly threatened voters in Lagos State and the videos of the threat as well as the eventual attacks on voters by hoodlums suspected to be APC supporters in Lagos State were flying here and there. But a video of a traditional ruler in Lagos was the bases for which both the Police and the DSS arrested Igbo traditional leader who threatened to invite the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to protect their businesses In the state.
“Perhaps the most malicious case was the comments by Lai Mohammed, who is the information minister of the outgoing government, accusing the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, of inciting people to violence over the outcome of the presidential elections, saying it is treasonable.
“This same Lai Mohammed in 2014 as APC spokesman claimed as earlier quoted that “Those who incite the people are those who steal their mandate.
“If the Labour Party presidential candidate is alleging that his mandate was stolen, how can the same Lai Mohammed who saw such demands as legitimate in 2014 when he was outside government turn around to criminalise same?
“The CNPP therefore warms the Federal government, political appointees, and security agencies to exercise restraint or be mindful of their actions or inactions not to appear to be taking sides with the ruling APC as a party against the rest of Nigerians”, the CNPP stated.