APC Alleges Plan To Postpone February General Elections
… Describes DSS 'Findings' As Part Of Alleged Plan
SAN FRANCISCO, January 11, (THEWILL) – The All Progressives Congress (APC), Sunday in Lagos, accused the President Goodluck Jonathan Administration of planning to postpone the February general elections.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the allegation while briefing newsmen on the 'findings' of the Department of State Services (DSS) over the raid on the Data Centre of the party in Ikeja, Lagos.
Dismissing the DSS report as bunkum, garbage, and not worth the paper on which it is written, APC alleged that the timing of the release of the 'findings' was part of the plan by the Jonathan Administration to postpone February general elections.
The APC spokesman said: “As you are very much aware by now, the Department of State Services, DSS, on Jan. 7th 2015 released the so-called findings from its investigation following the Gestapo-like raids of our Data Centre here at Number 10, Ajibola Street, Ikeja, on Nov. 22nd 2014.
“The summary of the 'findings' is that our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), had an ”articulated plan to inflate the party's membership data as well as hack into INEC's voter registration database through the creation of party membership forms and cards to match INEC's voters register across the country”.
“Our immediate response, which was issued on the same day and which got a big play, was to dismiss the 'findings' as hogwash, a great disservice to Nigeria and an embarrassment to all intelligence-gathering organizations around the world. Our stand on the 'findings' has not changed.
“However, having taken our time to study the 'findings', we believe it is necessary for us to respond to the allegations in a more detailed manner that will show that we were even charitable to have described the report as hogwash. That DSS report is bunkum, garbage, and is not worth the paper on which it is written. We will demonstrate that to you shortly
“But first, let us address the motive of the DSS for this report and the timing of its release.
“We will like to tell all Nigerians that the crap called 'findings' is part of the ongoing efforts by the Jonathan Administration to postpone next month's general elections. Having seen the handwriting on the wall vis-a-vis the growing rejection of the PDP by Nigerians, the Jonathan Administration has gone into a panic mode, while embarking on a plan to postpone the elections.”
According to the APC, “Apparently, the thinking at the DSS, which is working in cahoots with the PDP, is that its report that the APC plans to hack into the voters' registration Data Base of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will raise doubts about the integrity of the voter's register to be used for the forthcoming polls, and subsequently force a postponement of the elections since the existing register cannot be used for the polls.
“Unfortunately for DSS and the PDP, this thinking was based on a wrong premise, as we will show shortly, and it has backfired.
“Before you say our claim is outlandish, remember that some prominent Nigerians have publicly called for the postponement of the election – which can only benefit the Jonathan Administration and delay its impending Waterloo at the polls. Place the calls side by side with the apparently doctored outcome of the DSS investigations and the timing of the report's release, and you will understand where they are coming from.
“We make bold to say that those 'findings' cannot stand a serious scrutiny by independent investigators because the DSS worked backwards, from answer to question, in an effort to reach a pre-determined conclusion.
Responding to the allegations by DSS that the party was trying to hack into INEC data base, APC said: “The allegation that the APC planned to hack into INEC's voters' registration Data Base is false.
“The fact that the DSS made the allegation at all shows that the agency does not understand the concept of hacking, which is pathetic for a primary intelligence agency of its stature.
“We are not aware that INEC has made a complaint of anyone or group trying to hack into its system. The DSS 'findings' are baseless as INEC'S database is a reflection of the registered members with the Permanent Voter's Cards (PVCs). Please note that at the time of the DSS' raids, the PVCs had already been printed. Therefore, of what value would it be to hack into the system and input more names?
“Simply put, it is not possible for the APC to hack into the INEC Data Base for the following reasons:
▪ INEC's database is not online, how then is it possible for anyone to hack into it?
▪ To prevent virus intrusion, there is no Internet service at the APC Data Centre that was raided. Therefore it is not possible to hack into INEC's database.
▪ The DSS has claimed that hacking tutorials were discovered on an external hard drive. This is a lie! All the USB ports on the pc systems in the office were disabled to prevent virus intrusion.
“Therefore, the use of external hard drives is not allowed at the APC Data Centre. If this is so, how is it possible for an external hard drive containing these so-called hacking materials to be found on the premises of the APC Data Office?”
Maintaining that the work stations at its various data registration centres in the country are manned by unemployed youths with just basic computer knowledge, the party then asked : Would the party have employed these people if the intent were to hack into INEC's Data Base or employed gurus in the IT world?
According to APC, “It is clear that the DSS purchased a hard drive and downloaded the information themselves from the Internet. After all, the DSS, by virtue of its duties, should be the hacking experts, hence hacking tutorials will be part of their staff induction training.”
On the timing of the DSS Raids, APC alleged that the overall motive of the raid and the so-called findings is to give the impression that the INEC voter's register has been corrupted, hence cannot be used for next month's elections.
According to the party, “It is no coincidence that the DSS raided the APC Data Centre on Nov. 22nd 2014, exactly one week before the start of the PVC distribution exercise on Nov. 28th 2014.
“The reason the DSS came to vandalise our Data Centre is because the Service is working hand-in-hand with the PDP. They carried out the raids to know our party's strength in terms of membership. Please note that after the raids, many of our registered members could not find their names on the list when they went to collect their PVCs. This is not a mere coincidence.”
On the alleged multiple registration of members by APC, the party said :”After the first visit of the DSS, it was clear to all Nigerians that the Service's claim that we were cloning PVCs could not be sustained. That explains why they could not display a single cloned PVC
“During the second raid carried out by the DSS on the same APC Data Centre, the security personnel carted away bags with unused membership registration forms. These are the forms to which they have fraudulently attached pictures of babies and military personnel in order to implicate the APC.
“Or what on earth was the purpose of the DSS carting away blank APC membership registration forms? Why did it take the DSS almost 50 days to reveal this information? If it were true, won't they have released the information to the general public immediately? Has the DSS hired any renowned IT organisation to attest to its 'findings'? Can you be an accuser and a judge at the same time?”
In its response to alleged registration of armed forces/paramilitary personnel, APC said: “This is a no-brainer! The question to ask the DSS is: Will any member of the armed forces and paramilitary organisations be so daft as to join a political party using a passport photograph of himself or herself in uniform? The DSS must think Nigerians are fools.”
On alleged registration of babies, the party said: “To the best of our knowledge, a baby cannot vote? So, why would any organisation register a baby as a member? Our application edits date of birth, hence will not allow the registration of under-aged persons. The DSS should tell the world where it got the pictures of babies that it affixed to the blank forms that were carted away from our Data Centre. We did not and could not have registered babies as members. This allegation is nitwitted, to say the least.”
Speaking on the alleged confessions by workers arrested from the Data Centre, APC said: “Please recall that in a statement we issued of Dec. 5th 2014, we accused the DSS of resorting to the use of torture to obtain forced confessions from the workers who were arrested during the first raid on our party's Data Centre.
“In that statement, we called the action of the DSS a contravention of the UN Convention against Torture to which Nigeria is a signatory and a violation of the citizens' fundamental human rights.
“We also said: – The DSS shackled the hands and legs of those arrested and blindfolded them while they were being taken to Abuja; The arrested persons remained in chains even at the dark detention cell where they were made to sleep on the bare floor for the 10 days they were detained illegally.
“The workers had guns pointed at their heads by DSS personnel who threatened to shoot them
“A pregnant woman among those who were arrested was denied access to her drugs even when she started bleeding due to the torture to which she was subjected by the DSS.
“Gentlemen, we now present to you some of those who were arrested and tortured by the DSS, so they can narrate to you their ordeal in the hands of the DSS – A national institution being maintained by taxpayers' funds but which has now become the enforcement arm of the PDP to be used by the ruling party to terrorize innocent citizens.
“The DSS said it had charged these workers to court. This is a lie. We were the ones who charged the DSS to court, and the court ordered the security agency to release the arrested workers. Be that as it may, we are expecting them to join us in court, and let the court decide on the crap they called findings. We are confident that the 'confessions' extracted from these people, after they were subjected to incredible acts of torture, cannot even stand in any court of law.”