The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday raised the alarm over what it described as the desperation of President Muhammadu Buhari for self-succession.
It said the issue had become a major threat to national unity, stability and a peaceful electoral process.
It, therefore, urged the National Peace Committee, the United Nations and world leaders to save Nigeria from what it called imminent collapse by cautioning Buhari over alleged resort to undemocratic practices.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, stated these during a media briefing in Abuja.
Ologbondiyan said Buhari should be called to order if Nigeria must have peaceful, free, fair and credible general elections in February, adding that Nigeria was in a perilous time.
He claimed that having realised that Nigerians were rallying behind the PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, as their next President, the Buhari Presidency was seeking ways to enmesh the electoral process in a crisis.
“The Buhari Presidency has been overheating the polity with its unending manipulations of INEC, muzzling of free speech and escalated clampdown on opposition and civil society organisations and we insist that such must stop if we must have a peaceful election,” he said.
Ologbondiyan, who is also the Director, Media and Publicity of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, said there was no way peace could be guaranteed without free and fair elections.
He stated that already, Nigerians were angry over what he called the foisting of Mrs Amina Zakari as the Chairman of the National Collation Centre Committee of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
According to him, Buhari’s insistence on having Zakari in charge of the collation of presidential election results was provocative, “a direct affront to the sensibilities of Nigerians and an express invitation to a crisis of epic proportion.”
This, he said, was capable of truncating the electoral process and derailing the nation’s democracy.
Ologbondiyan said, “The world is aware that majority of Nigerians have rejected Zakari. Over 90 per cent of the political parties in the election, as well as major political and socio-cultural groups across the country have also called for her resignation from INEC, yet President Buhari is insisting on her stay in the commission.
“Our party is aware of plots by the Buhari Presidency to use Zakari, who has been mentioned as part of those involved in the rigging of the 2018 governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states, to plunge the 2019 general elections into controversies, truncate the flow of results and even render elections in some critical states inconclusive, to pave way for allocation of fictitious votes to President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress.”
He added, “We want the National Peace Committee and the world to know that as long as Amina Zakari is in INEC, a peaceful election is not guaranteed because she has the mandate to abuse the process and this will not be accepted by Nigerians.
“The PPCO therefore calls on the National Peace Committee to immediately speak out on the impropriety of having Amina Zakari in INEC as well as insist on her removal so that we can have a credible and peaceful presidential election.”
Ologbondiyan stated that peaceful elections could not be guaranteed as long as the Buhari Presidency continued to intimidate and unleash provocative acts of totalitarianism against opposition figures and persons perceived to be against Buhari’s self-succession bid.
He alerted the international community and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, to the alleged ongoing use of the police to clamp down on opposition figures, particularly members of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council and outspoken civil society groups on trump-up criminal charges.
According to him, part of the plot was to charge such individuals before certain compromised judicial officers in various states, who, he alleged had been briefed to detain, silence and put such opposition figures and CSO members out of circulation until elections were concluded.