From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Federal Government, yesterday, said it welcomed the statements from the United States and the United Kingdom over its demand for free, fair and credible elections in the country.
The government also welcomed the threat of punitive measures against election riggers and perpetrators of electoral violence in the forthcoming elections.
The United States and the United Kingdom, on Thursday, had issued a stern warning to would-be election offenders in the forthcoming elections in the country. They threatened visa denial to elections offenders and their families.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, in a statement issued in Ilorin and made available to Saturday Sun in Abuja by his Special Assistant, Segun Adeyemi, said the government was particularly delighted that the statements came after it alerted the nation to the machinations of some opposition elements who are working to scuttle the 2019 polls through widespread violence.
‘’A few days ago, we alerted the nation to the plot by the opposition to orchestrate widespread violence in the country, using insurgents and criminal elements within and outside the country. Their plan is to scuttle the election and then push for an interim government, having realised they can’t win a free, fair, credible and peaceful elections.
‘’The fact that those statements came after we issued our red alert, which is based on credible intelligence, shows that the international community is closely monitoring events ahead of the election. We urge them to keep a close tab on the desperate opposition, whose language, actions and undisguised threats are antithetical to the conduct of peaceful polls,’’ Mohammed said.
Mohammed further called on Nigerians and the international community to take seriously, the assurance of a credible and violence-free election that has been consistently given by President Muhammadu Buhari, whom he said, is a tried-and-tested democrat and a globally acclaimed man of integrity.
Mohammed added that the APC-led administration is very confident of victory in the forthcoming elections.
He said as a party that was not so desperate as to rig election while in opposition, the APC had no business rigging election or perpetrating violence now that it is in power and is enjoying massive support from the citizenry.
Mohammed called on the international community to keep a close watch on those who are spending more time on a dubious strategy of scuttling the polls than campaigning to win in a free, fair, transparent and peaceful election.