The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has described the decision of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, to sign the peace deal as a face-saving move following widespread condemnation that greeted his initial alleged refusal to agree to the peace deal.
The APC National Publicity Secretary, Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, in a statement issued on Wednesday, said it was obvious that Atiku tried to avoid signing the national peace accord ahead of the country’s 2019 general elections.
Issa-Onilu said the PDP and Atiku’s ‘dubious claim of a communication lapse’ as reason for their no-show at Tuesday’s formal signing ceremony was hogwash to all discerning Nigerians.
He said the peace committee duly and formally invited the PDP and Atiku like other candidates and political parties contesting the 2019 elections.
“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 a participatory, peaceful, credible and transparent elections,” the statement read.