Yemi Adebowale in Lagos; Chuks Okocha and Jaiyeola Andrews in Abuja
.Jonathan rallies supporters
.Tinubu, Fashola, Ambode tell followers to keep faith
.Battle in Imo, Rivers, Oyo
.Okowa set to win in Delta
Lagos State being the undisputable big prize in any election in Nigeria, both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have embarked on a last ditch house to house campaign to ramp up support for their candidates in today’s elections in the state.
In Imo, Rivers, Oyo, the battle between the two parties’ candidates remain fierce, while the PDP governorship candidate in Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa is set to win.
Also, there were bitter exchanges between the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party over the conduct of today’s elections. While the APC accused the PDP of planning to rig the election in Lagos, the PDP dismissed this, saying it is a false and mischievous alarm.
In its reaction, the Presidency said the spokesman of the APC, Alhaji Lai Muhammed was wrong to have said that President Goodluck Jonathan was in Lagos to rig the gubernatorial election scheduled for today.
President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday breezed into town to galvanize support for the PDP candidates, particularly Jimi Agbaje, the party’s governorship candidate.
Jonathan held series of meetings with the major stakeholders such as Agbaje himself, Musiliu Obanikoro and Gani Adams.
The PDP chieftains also spent most of yesterday in a house to house campaign.
On his part, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu hosted a large crowd of party supporters in the morning of yesterday in what observers describe as mobilisation for today’s election.
He later left his Bourdillon house to lead Governor Babatunde Fashola and Akinwunmi Ambode in last minute house to house campaign to rally their supporters to secure their base and to assuage any ill feelings that may have been growing within the party’s ranks as they go into the elections.
Tinubu, leading the campaign underscores the importance he attaches to the Lagos gubernatorial poll as the numbers have tightened to a dead heat, and Jonathan’s presence in Lagos on Thursday till Friday afternoon certainly raised the stage.
APC Alleges Rigging Plan in Lagos…
Meanwhile, the APC yesterday alleged that the PDP was desperate to capture Lagos State at all cost, “including using fake result sheets which were flown in from Abuja for Saturday’s elections,” warning that the people will resist any attempt to rob them of their votes.
In a statement issued in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party alleged that the rigging plans were being led by President Goodluck Jonathan, “who has already flown into Lagos where he has held a meeting with his pointsmen, including Musiliu Obanikoro, Jimi Agbaje and Gani Adams.”
Mohammed alleged that before the meeting, “eagle-eyed Nigerians who are appalled by the PDP’s rigging plans have widely circulated on the Social Media the details of the planned electoral malfeasance, including the airlifting from Abuja to Lagos of a Black Kia Mohave SUV, with plate number DHQ 340, which was packed with election materials (especially result sheets).”
The party advised the President to desist from any vengeance mission that will only rubbish whatever is left of his so-called legacy of free and fair elections.
“Lagosians, please come out en masse on Saturday and vote in a peaceful manner for a candidate of your choice. Say no to coercion, defend your votes and repudiate all architects of divisiveness and rigging,” Mohammed said.
Presidency: APC Wrong in Insinuating Jonathan in Lagos to Rig Election…
In a swift reaction, the Presidency yesterday said the spokesman for the APC was wrong to say that President Goodluck Jonathan was in Lagos to rig the gubernatorial and legislative elections scheduled for today.
In an interview with State House correspondents, Presidential spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati said: “He (Lai Mohammed) is of course lying as usual and rude.
President Jonathan visited Lagos. He arrived on Thursday and left on Friday. People visited him. So what? Anytime the President is in Lagos or any part of the country, a lot of people come to pay homage to him.
“Nothing unusual happened during his last visit to Lagos. Senator Musiliu Obanikoro’s visit to the President in Lagos is not something that anybody should use to play politics. Koro is a Minister of the Federal Republic. He came to see his boss.
“Mr. Jimi Agbaje is the governorship candidate of the PDP in Lagos. I don’t see how his visit to the President, who is also the leader of his party, the PDP, should become an issue. Yes, Gani Adams also visited, but so did a lot of other people.
“The President did not hold meetings with INEC officials; he did not meet with the police or polling officials or with anybody who is involved in organising elections.
So, to say that the President went to Lagos to supervise the rigging of Saturday’s election is most uncharitable and cruel.
“After the Presidential election, the President immediately congratulated Gen. Buhari and the whole world has commended him for saving Nigeria.
President Jonathan’s sportsmanship, statesmanship and leadership saved this country at that critical moment. He has demonstrated his commitment to free and fair election, the rule of law and due process. He has shown that he is a man of character, honour and integrity.
“Nigerians generally are proud of him. He has left a worthy legacy and shown a great example. That, obviously, is the narrative that Lai Muhammed and his masters want to change, so they are now cooking up meaningless tales.
“Lai Muhammed should look for another target and leave the President alone. His fatuous tale does not make any sense. I repeat: we will like to advise that the APC should just leave the President alone. President Jonathan was a candidate in the presidential election; he did not rig the election. Why would he want to rig tomorrow’s (today’s) elections?”
APC’s Allegations, False, Mischievous, Says PDP….
Also reacting, the PDP urged Lagosians to ignore the “tensions and false alarm” being raised by the APC over allegations that it was planning to rig the Lagos State governorship election.
In a statement by PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, the party said: “We totally condemn this unwarranted and unnecessary tension being created by the APC in Lagos State a day before the election. The APC must desist from its propaganda, lies and false alarms especially bearing in mind that it did not win the presidential election on account of such. Nigerians are no longer in the mood for such politics as they have since moved ahead in celebration of the deepening of our democracy by the PDP-led administration.
“The PDP successfully nurtured democracy in the last sixteen years with attendant benefits to the people. Unfortunately, concerns are already heightening that the APC may not sustain this legacy given its disreputable disposition to national issues and ceaseless resort to propaganda and deceit.
“We are aware that the APC leader and President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari has gone to about 12 states meeting and campaigning for his party’s candidates and wonder why the APC should fret about President Goodluck Jonathan’s meeting with our candidates in Lagos.
“President Jonathan has with the 2015 general elections proven beyond all doubts that he is a true democrat committed to free, fair and credible elections, a fact for which he has continued to receive accolades from well-meaning Nigerians and the international community.
“Finally, we call on Lagosians to disregard this latest false alert and come out on Saturday to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed right. In the same vein, we charge INEC and security forces to ensure that the elections are free, fair and credible not only in Lagos but also in other states of the federation.”
Fani-Kayode: APC Has Degenerated into a Party of Liars…
In his own reaction, Femi Fani-Kayode, Director of Media of PDP’s Presidential Campaign Organisation said: “Once again the APC has degenerated into a party of liars who have little or no shame. It is not true that the President has any rigging plan for Lagos and neither do we need any such plan because our party is very strong there. The problem APC has and the reason that they make such asinine and stupid allegations is because they actually believe that they own Lagos State and all those that live there.
“They are now in a state of panic because for the first time in 16 years, they are facing a formidable challenge and they know that Jimi Agbaje of the PDP is likely to win. The truth is that there was no secret meeting in which rigging was planned by the President and neither is it true that materials were smuggled in to rig Lagos State.
“The only people that are interested in rigging and in milking any cash cows are the APC themselves and they can be rest assured that we will resist them at all levels. We will not only keep them on their toes at the Federal level by being eternally vigilant but we will also provide them with the most aggressive, relentless, focused and assertive opposition that Nigeria has ever known.
“President Jonathan simply conceded defeat in the Presidential election but this does not in any way mean that we have lost our nerve and neither does it represent a capitulation of our convictions or a collapse of our firm resolve. We shall continue to assist in moving this great country forward and to contribute to public discourse and national affairs.”
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