The Peoples Democratic Party has called on security agencies to probe the presence of two governors from Niger Republic and other Nigerien nationals at the Thursday presidential rally of the All Progressives Congress in Kano.
It also said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s endorsement of the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, during the rally negated his “touted” anti-corruption war.
Governors Issa Moussa of Zinder and Zakiri Umar of Maradi had attended the rally to support Buhari on Thursday.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said on Friday in Abuja that the presence of the Nigerien governors at the President’s rally signposted a direct assault on the credibility of the presidential election.
“The APC and the Buhari Presidency must immediately explain the roles being played by Issa Moussa, Governor of Zinder, and his counterpart from Maradi, Zakiri Umar, both from Niger Republic, who were sighted decked in the attires and official logos of the APC, in our political affairs. What was the true purpose of the invitation of these foreigners to the APC rally in Kano on Thursday?
“Our security agencies must immediately investigate and lay in the public domain the circumstances leading to their presence, which more or less confirms that the APC has lost all domestic credibility and has assumed a desperate mode.”
“Our apprehensions are accentuated by INEC’s recent mass creation of additional polling units which have not been properly designated and which may be deployed for the perpetuation of monumental electoral fraud. We note how Kano State, in 2015, delivered 1.9 million votes to the APC presidential candidate in circumstances devoid of transparency and credulity.”
Responding to the development, a former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nuhu Ribadu, said the attendance of two governors from Niger Republic at the Kano campaign rally of Buhari was lawful and within their rights.
Ribadu, who is the Director of Field Operations of the APC’ Presidential Campaign Council, spoke on Friday in Abuja at the APC’s train-the-trainer workshop of zonal and state coordinators of vote canvassers.
Responding to questions, he said, “For your information, this is a free country and it is the constitutional right of anyone to be where he wants to be. People from West Africa are free to move into Nigeria. We have a protocol or agreement that they don’t need a visa to come into this country.”
Meanwhile, the Department of State Services has said it is unaware as to whether or not foreigners attended the rally.
In response to enquiries from Saturday PUNCH, the service through its spokesperson, Mr. Peter Afunnaya, said, “I’m not aware whether or not foreigners attended the rally, thank you.”
But the PDP has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to disqualify President Muhammadu Buhari from the February 16 presidential election over the presence of two Niger Republic governors during his campaign rally in Kano on Thursday.
The PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, who made the call during the party’s presidential campaign rally in Enugu on Friday, alleged that Buhari brought the two governors to the country to rig the presidential election.
He said, “By the power vested in me as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, I hereby call on INEC to disqualify President Muhammadu Buhari for bringing in mercenaries to influence votes.