PDP instigated ASUU strike, NLC, oil marketers’ agitation to cause confusion —APC
•Accuses opposition party of plotting to hack INEC database •Falsehood is their stock in trade —PDP
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of instigating the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the recent agitation for a new national minimum wage for workers by the organised Labour and a demand for outstanding subsidy claim by petroleum marketers.
But the PDP dismissed the APC’s claims and accused the ruling party of finding pleasure in making unfounded allegations.
Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekeen Nabena, made the accusations on Thursday night at an interactive session with journalists in Abuja.
The APC scribe also alleged that the stance of President Muhammadu Buhari not to pass the Electoral Amendment Bill into law was informed by a revelation of plot by the PDP to hack the database of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the event that President Buhari, who incidentally is the APC candidate, signed the Bill.
Nabena further claimed that the plot to hack the INEC database, instigate ASUU, NLC , the oil marketers under the aegis of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, (IPMAN) and Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) was hatched during a recent PDP retreat in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“You see, the law we are using now was signed by the PDP. So, you as ruling party, you created a law and you are now afraid to use what you created. Does that sound right? You see, what the PDP are doing, they are playing out what they planned in Dubai. This is what they designed in Dubai. They have started playing all of them one by one.
“They started with the Labour agitation for minimum wage. They tried that one to cause problem in the country. It didn’t work; they brought ASUU strike. It didn’t work and they now brought fuel scarcity. These are all the games they planned in Dubai.
“So, their last plot is the Electoral Act. If the president had signed, they would still go and demonstrate. We are waiting for them.
“This bill you are talking about, how can you put in a bill that results be transmitted electronically from the poling unit? What are they trying to do? These are part of their Dubai plan, trying to bring the same Russians to hack the system. That’s their joker. So, once President Buhari signed the bill, they would instruct their Russian client to just hack into the system and transmit the figures. We all know what they are doing. This is their last joker. They all went to Russia, once this bill is signed, they will hack the system,” he said.
Although Nabena agreed that the demands of ASUU, NLC and petroleum marketers were legitimate, he claimed that the timing was suspect.
“Yes, that is what I am saying, because they want distractions in the system, so that they will now tell the people that APC can’t handle the ASUU strike, they can’t handle the fuel subsidy, they can’t handle the minimum wage. You see that everybody is now coming up to demand for what is due to them one way or the other at this particular time because they also know that elections are coming. Yes, they are legitimate but at this time, they want to create a distraction and once it is there, they want to capitalise on that,” he added.
Falsehood is their stock in trade —PDP
Speaking with Saturday Tribune in a telephone interview, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbodiyan, however, dismissed the claim by his counterpart in the ruling party, Nabena.
He said the APC was fond of making unfounded allegations and wondered how the ruling party would assume that the PDP would be inciting unions like ASUU and the NLC to destabilise the country.
“Well, our reaction is that Yekeen Nabena is an illiterate. He doesn’t understand the strength of the issues that he is discussing. If he does, he won’t be talking about an attempt to attack a system that hasn’t been formulated, that hasn’t been created and as far as we are concerned, those dubious antics are associated with the APC.
“For instance, in 2014-15, they were the harbingers of hate speech. Today, they are the ones complaining. They are known to have rigged elections, suddenly increasing the number of voters in Kano and other states and at the end of the day alleging rigging.
“So, it is in the character of the APC to cry wolf where there is none. They have further demonstrated lack of capacity in knowledge by saying that we are behind ASUU strike, the demand for payment of subsidy and NLC demand for minimum wage. It is rather unfortunate.
“As far as the PDP is concerned, and as far as our candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is concerned, the referendum for the 2019 election is clear before Nigerians. It is all about the massive failure and woeful performance of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We have never witnessed the kind of hunger that Nigerians are going through today. We are the poverty headquarters of the entire world, courtesy of Buhari. Nigerians are lamenting and they have become despondent about governance, courtesy of Buhari and his party. These are the issues for 2019 campaign. We are also demanding for credible 2019 elections, not the one of lip service the way Buhari is going about by saying he is committed to free elections, whereas he has refused to sign the bill that would engender free and fair election. Nigerians have moved beyond Buhari, they are just waiting on the election day to tell characters like Nabena that they have failed Nigerians,” Ologbodiyan said.