The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of renting and smuggling in a crowd of foreigners from the Niger Republic to attend President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign rally in Kano State.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, made the allegations on Friday while addressing a press conference in Abuja.
He said the ruling party purportedly rented foreigners for its campaign in Kano because it could not mobilise Nigerians to attend.
“President Buhari and the APC, in their desperation have compromised our territorial integrity as a nation and this portends grave danger to our national security and the sanctity of our electoral process,” Ologbondiyan alleged.
He stated further, “For a nation contending with insurgency and banditry, the involvement of mercenaries from neighbouring countries in the APC rally must be condemned by all and sundry.
“This is particularly against the backdrop of claims by President Buhari that killer herdsmen ravaging our nation are mercenaries who are infiltrating from the Sahel region.”
The PDP spokesman noted that the development has proven the claims by his party on the alleged plots to use mercenaries from neighbouring countries to precipitate crisis with the aim of scuttling the general elections.
He, however, said his party demands an urgent and thorough investigation into the circumstances leading to the presence of politicians from Niger Republic at the APC presidential rally in Kano which held on Thursday.
Ologbondiyan said, “The APC and the Buhari Presidency must immediately explain the roles being played by Issa Moussa, Governor of Zinder and his counterpart from Maradi, Zakiri Umar both of the Niger Republic, who were sighted decked in the attires and official logos of the APC, in our political affairs.”
He also called on the security agencies to urgently investigate the circumstances leading to their presence and make public their findings on the issue.
“The presence of the Niger Republic governors at President Buhari’s rally signposts a direct assault on the credibility of the Presidential elections,” the PDP National Publicity Secretary insisted.
He further accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of plot to allow Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Niger Republic to vote, although the electoral umpire had said only duly IDPs within Nigeria would be allowed to participate in the elections.
Ologbondiyan described the said plot as a situation that “opens the way for aliens to infiltrate as IDPs” and participate in the polls.
He faulted the creation of additional polling units by INEC, saying they have not been properly designated and may be deployed for the alleged perpetuation of monumental electoral fraud.
“What was the true purpose of the invitation of these foreigners to the APC rally in Kano on Thursday? What secret deals did APC leaders make with them at the expense of our national security?” the PDP spokesman queried.
He claimed, “We know that APC’s jettisoning of our territorial integrity and national security to hire crowds from Niger Republic is borne out of frustration over the recent successes and massive turn out of supporters at PDP rallies held in the North-west.”
Ologbondiyan, however, believes the turnouts of supporters of the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in the North-west region has discomfited the APC and its candidate.
He stated that the coming polls were meant for only Nigerians, noting that “there is no way our citizens will allow foreigners to participate in our electoral process.”