The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Thursday told those who care to listen that the party’s major concern was how to win elections and now the arrest of corrupt politicians, asking those who have issues with invitation and arrest of former political office holders to go deal with such issues rather than politicizing such arrest.
The party also dismiss rumors making the round that it was deploying soldiers to rig the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra state, saying the party was planning to win the election fair and square.
Addressing newsmen at the party national Secretariat, National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi said those claiming that the APC was planning to hoard 50 members of the main opposition party, the PDP into jail should finish Nigerians with the names of such people who have been pencilled down for such treatment.
He said a couple of former governors were invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for questioning on their financial conduct during their tenure in office, adding that one way to preempt such investigation was to come up with a claim that there is a threat to muscle the opposition.
According to him, “I have said that as political parties, we don’t arrest and if anybody has issues with the power to arrest, the person should go and deal with it instead of politicizing it. We are concerned with the art of winning elections as a party not arresting anybody.”
Speaking on the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra state, Abdullahi said “whenever we go into primaries as in the case of Anambra where we have 12 aspirants, there will always be one level of acrimony or the other no matter the effort you make. But what we have done was to get everybody to rally round the candidate.
“Yes, there will be residual issues, but I can tell you that all of us are working together and have all lined up behind our candidate Dr Tony Nwoye to ensure that we win the election in Anambra.
“The issue of people not working together does not arise including the Minister of Labour who is the leader of the party in the state. All of us are working together and we have the National Campaign chairman in the person of Bauchi state governor. Up until yesterday, we were still meeting to strategize and of course, you know that the President will be visiting the grand finale of the campaign.
“So, all of us are working to ensure victory because Anambra is very important to the party and we understand the significance of the Anambra election. So, we are pulling everything together and everybody is working together to ensure success in Anambra.”
While dismissing the rumoured deployment of soldiers to rig the elections, he said “We believe strongly that the speculation of APC deploring soldiers to rig Anambra election is just a mere rumour because there is no evidence to that and if anybody tells you that the party is planning to deploy Civil Defence, police, soldiers or whatever to do anything in Anambra, tell the person to provide the evidence.
“We are planning to win the election fair and square and if you are following the campaign going on, you will know the impact that our candidate is making. The incumbent will naturally be jittery and when a candidate is jittery the first thing he will do is to turn around and accuse the ruling party of planning to rig or whatever.
“We are not going to rig the election. We have won elections since we came to power as a national party and as a ruling party. We have equally lost elections. We lost the election in Osun and if we have soldiers and police and whatever to mobilize why didn’t we do it. We have lost a couple of House of Representatives elections and couple of Senate elections.
“So, the speculation that we are planning to rig the election does not hold waters. Unless they have credible evidence that this is what we are planning to do. But to make this kind of allegation is not what we should dwell on too much.”
On the 2018 budget presented to the National Assembly, Abdullahi said “We are delighted that the budget was presented and as we can see there is a renewed commitment to invest in economically productive sectors in the coming year. I have read a couple of analysis of the budget and noticed that yes, there are different options. But we as a party are happy with the budget presented and the promises by the National Assembly to give the budget speedy assessment.
“We are very happy also that they have promised a speedy review of the budget and the passage as soon as possible. What excites us most was that the kind of rancour and acrimony that attended the previous budget given the relationship between the legislature and the executive is not going to happen again.
“The relationship has been mended. We are now confident as a party that the two arms of government will work smoothly and closely going forward. We are happy that we are going to start the new year in a more harmonious and coordinated manner.”
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