The All Progressives Congress, APC, has called for the banning of former Minister of state for Defence, Musliu Obanikoro, from holding any public office over his role in the rigging of the governorship election in Ekiti state on June 21, 2014.
Mr. Obanikoro’s name was Tuesday sent to the Senate for confirmation as minister, by President Goodluck Jonathan. The APC asked the Senate not to confirm Mr. Obanikoro.
APC also asked Nigeria’s armed forces to immediately begin investigating Aliyu Momoh, a Major General for his role in the alleged rigging of the election in Ekiti and repeating same in Osun and ensure that immediate and necessary disciplinary action are taken against all individuals that were involved in what it said was subversion of democracy.
A video recording recently emerged of an intelligence officer in the Nigerian Army, Captain Sagir Koli, giving details of how General Momoh was used by Mr. Obanikoro, Ayo Fayose and others to rig the election.
Also now in the public domain is a recording of a secret meeting convened by top Peoples Democratic Party’s politicians to strategise on how to rig the Ekiti election.
Rising from its first joint leadership meeting at the Shehu Yar’Adua Centre Abuja, the APC also asked the Federal government to immediately relieve the Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan of his appointment.
The oppsosition party also asked the Nigerian government to ensure that the armed forces are kept out of partisan politics in line with a recent judgment by a court in Sokoto and its affirmation by the Court of Appeal on Monday.
Part of the outcome of the joint leadership meeting was that the rescheduled election dates of the March 28 and April 11 must remain sacrosanct. The party said it would not tolerate any further shift.
The party added that “the use of the card reader for the 28th of March and 11th of April is non-negotiable, as contrary to the misinformation being disseminated the use of card reader is not synonymous with electronic voting”.
Speaking earlier, the party’s presidential candidate and former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, urged members of the party not to “relax” after the completion of its campaign rallies nationwide.
Mr. Buhari said APC should not lose focus due to the extension. “Our patience and resilience will be tested in the days ahead. We must pass this test. In a time like this, which in football analogy can be referred to as extra time, we must avoid making costly mistakes,” Mr. Buhari said. The APC presidential candidate said the party must use the next six weeks “to re-charge and re-focus on our goal”.
He said the goal of the APC remains to win the elections now slated for March 28 and April 11 with a convincing majority.
“We should aim to achieve a victory that will be beyond dispute and proceed to form the next government and start work on the task of rebuilding our beloved country.
“Our eyes must be on the objective to build a great society that works for all of us. A country where every child has an equal opportunity to get an education, where every young Nigerian who needs a job can find one. Where the sick are looked after and senior citizens are provided for. A country which gives value to human life, where the welfare and security of all is a national priority and corruption is defeated,” he said.
Speaking on the Ekiti rigging debacle, Mr. Buhari expressed surprise at the silence from the government over the matter.
“Up till now, there has been no official denial of this most unfortunate event. It makes me wonder, in the circumstances that led to shifting of the date of the Federal Elections, whether the security services are even now being prepared to play similar roles in the March 28th and April 11th elections.
Mr. Buhari said security services have serious constitutional responsibilities to the people of the nation adding that their importance to the health of the country cannot be underestimated.
He urged the leadership of the security services to keep the institutions out of partisan politics.
“I personally and, am sure, all Nigerians, have tremendous respect for our security services. I therefore urge strongly that they stick to, and concentrate on, their constitutional duties, otherwise they stand the risk of becoming part of our already complicated national situation,” he said.
He also thanked members of the party who took time to participate in his campaign rallies across the country.
He particularly thanked those “who have been made mind boggling offers by our opponents in a bid to break our ranks and curtail our momentum in the march to change Nigeria for good, yet you have chosen to be on the side of a cause that is just”. He appealed to the party leaders and faithful not to rest thinking that all is won. “Six weeks is a long time and we do not know the plans of the other side but with our strong resolve, we will prevail.
“Therefore let us keep our eyes on the ball. Let us work as we have never done before, and let us watch and help each other. The days and weeks ahead will be tough.
“Our resolve will be tested and all kinds of evil tricks will be on display. But do not despair. The goal is in sight. Change is coming. The people of Nigeria will prevail. God has destined Nigeria to be a great country. We shall overcome and Change shall be achieved,” Mr. Buhari said.