The Peoples Democratic Party on Sunday charged the Nigerian Army and other security agencies to track down political mercenaries and thugs said to have been smuggled into Nigeria allegedly by the All Progressives Congress.
It alleged that the ruling party used the thugs to unleash violence on the nation to facilitate its alleged rigging of the 2019 general elections.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, made the allegations in a statement.
He also urged security agencies to compel the APC to immediately disclose the identities and whereabouts of the mercenaries and their traffickers and urgently flush them out and shield the nation and its democracy from further security threats.
He said, “Nigerians can recall that the PDP had raised the alarm when the APC, seeing that it could not win in a free, fair and credible election, compromised our territorial borders to bring in political mercenaries from other countries to participate in their campaign rallies, as well as assist them in perpetuating violence.
“Nigerians can also recall how the APC agents unleashed violence on voters in Kano, Kaduna, Rivers, Kogi, Taraba, Adamawa and other states of the federation to muscle votes for its candidates, particularly in the presidential election; and how the APC leadership stood in staunch defence of the compromising of our territorial borders as well as the violence that characterised the elections.
“This was in addition to apprehensions of possible plots by the APC to use the thugs to cause confusion and derail our democratic process, should they fail to rig the elections. It is instructive to note that the APC had not been able to state the whereabouts of the thugs after the elections.”
He said that such a development had raised fears that the thugs had filtered deeper into the nation’s territory and population, given the escalation of banditry and associated acts of violence in many states, including Zamfara, Borno, Yobe, Taraba, Kaduna, Katsina among others, since after the elections.
He restated the PDP’s demand for an investigation into the alleged link between the APC and the security situation in the nation.
Ologbondiyan said, “This is particularly as the APC is now overweighed by public disapproval and opprobrium for rigging the election and being faced with huge legitimacy challenges ahead, can resort to all manner of shenanigans just to divert public attention from its odious status.
“The PDP, as a law-abiding party, committed to the unity, stability and sovereignty of our nation, as well as the deepening of our democratic process stands with Nigerians in their refusal to be distracted by the APC in the determination to get justice for our nation at the tribunals.”
It could be recalled that acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col Sagir Musa had said that some elements in the country were planning to derail the scheduled handover on May 29 and scuttle the democratic process.