Buhari slams Jonathan, says President not ready for free polls

By The Citizen
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The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirant Gen. Muhammadu Buhari yesterday knocked President Goodluck Jonathan administration for the invasion of the APC's data centre in Lagos.

He said the clampdown was a foretaste of things to come in next year's general elections.

Gen. Buhari said the government had shown that it would not conduct 'anything resembling free and fair elections'.

He said the desperation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was growing by the hour.

The aspirant, who made his position known in a statement in Abuja through his aide, Sabi'u Tunde, asked the Presidency to stop 'defending the indefensible'. The Directorate of State Security (DSS) said it stormed the data centre because it suspected that it was habouring illegal activities.

Gen. Buhari expressed regrets that the Federal Government was pushing the nation into chaos.

The statement said:  'Almost every day, the Jonathan presidency seems intent on demonstrating for all to see that they have mastered the art of how to push a nation into chaos within the shortest time possible.

'The early morning attack by security operatives on the APC data centre in Lagos on Saturday November 22nd is one such display in a growing chain of abuse and violation of the constitution and political rights of the people. It is a reckless act that must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

'The APC Data Centre housed internal party membership information and also was an important vehicle to disseminate information to APC members.

'Yet, for conducting functions necessary and proper for a political party operating within the democratic context, the Centre became a hated target of the Jonathan government and the PDP.'

He indicted the administration of being behind the attack on the APC data centre.

The statement added: 'The Jonathan government cannot claim ignorance. The security operatives conducting this illegal raid must have been ordered from Abuja. They would not have done what they did unless given the mandate from their high bosses in Abuja.

'Attempting to defend the indefensible, they fabricate a story that the attack was necessary because criminal activity was taking place at the Centre. These statements are such plain lies.

'These acts are but a foretaste of things to come. From these attacks, this government is signaling to the Nigerian people they have no intention of holding anything resembling free and fair elections.

'Their goal is not to create a level electoral playing field. Their goal is to level the opposition into the dust through the abuse of federal power.'

The APC presidential aspirant accused the PDP of becoming desperate to win next year's poll at all cost.

The statement added: 'The desperation of the PDP grows by the hour. Afraid they may be swept from office by the results of a free election fairly conducted, they will go to any length to hold on to office.

'We are swiftly approaching a telling moment in our history. The crumbling PDP government is trying its utmost to stop the irresistible force of the people's desire for progressive change that will establish peace and security as well as bring widely-shared prosperity for all.

'The PDP knows the APC is the vehicle to bring this change; thus the PDP is doing all it can to damage that vehicle.  The APC is an idea whose time has come because we are committed to govern Nigeria as if it were a great nation and not to destroy it as if it were a conquered country.'

Gen. Buhari said the APC would not accept anything other than free and fair elections in 2015.

The statement said: 'Nigerians are watching. The APC, for one, will seek free and fair elections. Nothing more, nothing less. The APC will also abide by the results of such elections. However, we will not stand idly and watch this government dismantle even the small, incomplete fragments of democracy this nation has struggled so hard and long to build.

'To allow this demolition will be more than a tragedy for the APC. It will separate the nation from its future greatness.

'We shall use all legal and constitutional means - from the courts, to the press, to protests - to alert the people and world to the shadow this government seeks to cast over the nation, and we shall use these same means to disperse that shadow so that free and fair elections can be had.'