The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Atiku Abubakar, its presidential candidate, of not wanting to sign the national peace accord ahead of the 2019 elections.
In a statement signed by Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC National Publicity Secretary, the party asked Nigerians to be wary of the PDP in the weeks leading up to the 2019 elections.
Recall that Atiku signed the accord on Wednesday, a day after other presidential candidates, including President Muhammadu Buhari, signed it in Abuja.
His absence was blamed on a communication lapse between the National Peace Committee, organisers of the accord, and the PDP national secretariat.
But in a statement, the APC said the excuse given is “hogwash” as the PDP and its candidate were invited at the same time as other political parties and their candidates.
“It is obvious that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alh. Atiku Abubakar, tried to avoid signing the national peace accord ahead of the country’s 2019 general election,” the statement read.
“To all discerning Nigerians, the PDP and Atiku’s dubious claim of a ‘communication lapse’ as reason for their no-show at Tuesday’s formal signing ceremony is hogwash, as the peace committee duly and formally invited the PDP and Atiku like other candidates and political parties contesting the 2019 Elections.
“Atiku’s eventual decision to sign the peace deal is clearly a face-saving move following widespread condemnation that greeted his initial refusal to agree to the peace deal. We, however, must not lose sight of the dangerous and ominous signs the PDP and Atiku have inadvertently shown Nigerians in the lead up to the elections.
“Again, this brings to the fore, PDP’s open declaration in August this year that the Party will deploy all means, schemes, shenanigans in all ramification and magnitude to manipulate the 2019 election.
“The APC reiterates that security and other relevant agencies must be on high alert to check this dangerous threat posed by the PDP’s planned actions for the general elections.
“In 2019 and beyond, the votes of the electorate must count and the will of the electorate must prevail. We must stand against and resist plans by retrogressive elements who are now nested in the PDP and their agents to disrupt elections through violence and other undemocratic practices,” the statement read.