Presidential Polls: Buhari's claim of pressure on Jonathan to rig illogical, says FG

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The Federal Government has described as out rightly false and illogical, allegations by Gen. Muhammad Buhari's Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), that President Goodluck Jonathan is under intense pressure to rig the 2011 presidential elections.

In a statement in Abuja, Presidential spokesman, Ima Niboro who also described the claim as strange, maintained that the move by the Buhari camp “is an attempt to pre-judge the forthcoming elections before the fact…”

According to Niboro “…we would have ignored it but for the high premium the President places on conducting free, fair and credible elections in 2011”

CPC spokesman, Dennis Aghanya had, in an interview with a national daily claimed “…President Jonathan is under pressure to give assurance to those canvassing for zoning that he must rig the elections in favor of the PDP, so as to protect the interest of the clique and ensure that Gen. Buhari does not win the presidential vote”

Aghanya who did not clarify how a sitting president from the south-south is expected to rig in favor of his party to pacify zoning proponents, even when he is expected to be an aspirant added “ this is the condition for them to drop insistence on their zoning demand and support Jonathan”

Niboro maintained that “the President is under no pressure whatsoever over the 2011 elections. He has made it clear that there will be credible elections next year, and so far has taken decisive steps to actualize the vision”

Niboro said the President has displayed seriousness with the appointment of a credible leadership at INEC, coupled with an unequivocal support for the commission in its search for the most viable strategy to achieve excellent delivery of the next elections.

Meanwhile, President Jonathan has hailed the online membership registration exercise of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a good innovation that will produce an authentic membership database for the party upon completion.

He stated this shortly after performing the online registration exercise as part of the ongoing PDP membership enrolment scheme at his official residence in the State House today. The exercise was witnessed by the Senate President, Senator David Mark, PDP National Chairman, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, the party's National Organizing Secretary, Prince Uche Secondus, and Presidential aides.  

President Jonathan pointed out the significance of the PDP online membership scheme in harmonizing the membership database of the party at all levels, adding that it will also eliminate controversies that could sometimes trail membership status within the party.

He commended the PDP leadership for the initiative which he described as “the best thing to have happened to party membership registration in Nigeria, in the 21 st Century,” while emphasizing its accessibility and relevance to existing and prospective party members even in the diaspora.

The President however called on party officials and banks that will facilitate the registration exercise to ensure that they penetrate the rural areas where he said the PDP has most of its membership, so that all party members in all nooks and crannies of the country will be duly registered. He also urged party members at all levels to take advantage of the online registration to properly document their membership of the party.