The Federal Government on Monday warned against alleged plans by “desperate opposition” to disrupt the electoral process.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, issued the warning in a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja.
He accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of working towards a constitutional crisis and usurping the role of INEC by announcing results.
He said, “By announcing the result and saying they have won the February 23 election, the PDP is deliberately seeking to confuse the polity and laying a 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, failing which 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 claimed that the Federal Government had earlier warned about the PDP’s decision to set up a parallel electoral body, tagged ‘Parallel Voting Tabulation System’, which the minister said the opposition party described as a tool that would determine whether or not it would accept the results of the elections.
“We said then that while it is a 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 – as the PDP is now doing under the guise of PVT,’’ he said.
Mohammed wondered why those who he said paraded themselves as democrats would show such “disdain for the electoral process.”
He called on security agencies to arrest and prosecute anyone who announced the results of Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections.