The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the Nigerian government under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch and his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of allegedly seeking to foist a siege mentality on the citizenry and ultimately destabilizing the country for their selfish political gains.
The National Working Committee (NWC) of Nigeria’s main opposition party made the weighty allegation while condemning in totality, the invasion of the Abuja residence of Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State by some operatives of the Nigeria Police alleged to have been detailed by Presidential authorities.
The party’s missile came as a joint committee of information technology and legal experts is claiming to have incontrovertible evidence about Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) servers, installed in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Some civic groups, Deservation and Pukka Initiative, made this public in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, showing a document, that detailed how and when INEC server was allegedly installed and put to use.
Dr. Sani Adamu, spokesman for the two groups, said, ‘’apart from the incontrovertible facts our IT and legal teams have in their possession, and ready to bring to the attention of the tribunal, I wish to present to you another evidence obtainable by the Freedom of Information (FoI).’’
The embattled INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakub Mahmood, according to Adamu, had stated that we are pioneering and deploying in 2019 general elections, a new platform for the electronic Collation and transmission of results of the 2019 elections.
The obviously worried groups are therefore, decrying the alleged moves by INEC to deny the availability of the server, stressing that the action is grave, just as it is a looming national disaster.
Adamu referred to INEC’s 2017-2021 strategic programme of action document, page 5, serial number 1.4 and key action, titled improve ICT operational deployment and utilization, including activities SN 1.4.1 to SN 1.4.57, saying these series of activities ‘’have captured all the essence of the server deployment by INEC’’.
Insisting that all of the activities underscored the approval for a server and its subsequent implementation between the first quarter of 2017 and the fourth quarter of 2018, he added, ‘’specifically, based on activities SN 1.4.57 in the strategic programme of action 2017-2021, the INEC leadership received the approval for the transmission of electronic results to the collation centres.
‘’In the same vein, SN 1.4.16 indicates that INEC has received the approval to procure servers for the 36 states and the FCT in the second quarter of 2017 and completed in the second quarter of 2018. For the avoidance of doubt, I wish to tender a copy of the 2017-2021 strategic programme of action document, which dealt with issues of ICT including servers, card readers and the electronic transmission of election results.’’
In the mean time, the groups are calling on Nigerians to join the campaign for INEC to own up and do the needful because ‘’we are in a situation similar to the June 12 of Moshood Abiola.’’
However, for the PDP, ‘’such invasion of the resident of an elected state governor is a direct pointer that our democracy is under attack by anti-democratic forces that seek to subvert the rule of law, foist a siege mentality on the citizenry and ultimately destabilise our nation for their selfish political gains.’’
Spokesman of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, who made their position on the matter known in a statement said PDP holds the view that the invasion was ‘’unlawful, provocative and cannot be justified under any guise whatsoever’’, insisting that such assault on a governor’s residence was a direct attack on the country’s democratic order and must not be swept under the carpet like previous invasions of residents of some PDP elected officials under the allegedly domineering APC administration of Buhari.
According to Ologbondiyan, ‘’our party holds that the invasion of Governor Ishaku’s residence is criminal and in total violation of the spirit of the immunity clause under the 1999 Constitution (as amended); a desecration of the sanctity of the government house and a rude assault on the sensibility of the people of Taraba and Nigerians in general.
‘’The PDP therefore calls on the Inspector General of police to immediately fish out those behind the invasion and unravel their intensions as well as beef up security around Governor Ishaku, his family members, and take steps to forestall a repeat of such unwarranted attack.’’
The opposition party however, charged Governor Ishaku and all other officials elected on its platform to remain undeterred in their commitment in serving the people despite the alleged intimidations, harassments and distractions by the APC-led administration.