The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has claimed the presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar tried to avoid signing the national peace accord ahead of the 2019 elections because he was scared of defeat.
Atiku finally signed the pact on Wednesday.
APC spokesman, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said in a statement noted that PDP and Atiku’s claim of a “communication lapse” as reason for their no-show at Tuesday’s formal signing ceremony is hogwash.
The party insisted that the peace committee duly and formally invited the PDP and Atiku like other candidates and political parties contesting the 2019 elections.
The statement read: “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.
“For signing the 2019 election national peace accord, the Party affirms the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari led APC government to a free and fair electoral process. The APC government has an abiding pledge towards participatory, peaceful, credible and transparent elections.”