The Federal Government has welcomed the statements from the United
States and the United Kingdom demanding credible and peaceful election
in Nigeria and threatening punitive measures against election riggers
and perpetrators of electoral violence.
In a statement issued in Ilorin on Friday, the Minister of Information
and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the Federal Government is
particular delighted that the statements came after it alerted the
nation to the machinations of some opposition elements who are working
to scuttle the 2019 polls through widespread violence.
”A few days ago, we alerted the nation to the plot by the opposition
to orchestrate widespread violence in the country, using insurgents
and criminal elements within and outside the country. Their plan is to
scuttle the election and then push for an interim government, having
realized they can’t win a free, fair, credible and peaceful elections.
”The fact that those statements came after we issued our red alert,
which is based on credible intelligence, shows that the international
community is closely monitoring events ahead of the election. We urge
them to keep a close tab on the desperate opposition, whose language,
actions and undisguised threats are antithetical to the conduct of
peaceful polls,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said Nigerians and the international community should
take seriously the assurance of a credible and violence-free election
that has been consistently given by President Muhammadu Buhari, a
tried-and-tested democrat and a globally-acclaimed man of integrity.
He said the APC-led Administration is very confident of victory in the
forthcoming elections, adding that a party that was not so desperate
as to rig election while in opposition had no business rigging
election or perpetrating violence now that it is in power and is
enjoying massive support from the citizenry.
The Minister called on the international community to keep a close eye
on those who are spending more time on a dubious strategy of scuttling
the polls than campaigning to win in a free, fair, transparent and
”As their campaign flounders and their strategies collapse, they have
resorted to seeking power by subterfuge. That’s why they are doing
everything possible to discredit an election that has yet to be held
by unleashing their attack dogs on INEC, the police and the entire
”On our part, we have confidence in the electoral process and the
institutions saddled with organizing and securing the election. That’s
why we have been busy campaigning vigorously across the country,
attracting unprecedented, organic crowds everywhere we go.
”The party that has a history of rigging polls is well known to
Nigerians. The party that has a history of using security forces to
unleash violence in order to steal the people’s votes is well known to
Nigerians. The party that organized an election that was later
described as flawed by its own ‘winning’ presidential candidate is
well known to Nigerians. That party is not the All Progressives
Congress (APC),” he said.