John Alechenu, Abuja
The African Democratic Congress has alleged that the All Progressives Congress and the President Muhammadu Buhari team are offering opposition parties N50m to compromise them.
The National Chairman of the ADC, Ralphs Nwosu, said this in his welcome address at a meeting with a team of officials of the National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute at the party’s headquarters in Abuja, on Wednesday.
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However, the APC has challenged the Ralphs Nwosu-led ADC to back its allegation with evidence instead of soiling the nation’s image with unsubstantiated claims.
The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, gave the challenge in an interview with The PUNCH.
Nwosu had explained to the NDI and IRI team that Nigeria’s democracy made appreciable progress since 1999; noting that the country had had a successful transition at the expiration of tenure every four years.
The party chairman described the decision of former President Goodluck Jonathan to accept defeat and congratulate his opponent even before the final announcement of the Presidential election results as “a hallmark performance” of the successes recorded within the period.
Nwosu said, “However, the events of the last three years seem to be undermining all the gains.
“In terms of elections, the bye-election in Rivers State turned the territory to a police state and a battlefield until the government of President Buhari, working with relevant agencies of the state, got the ‘hacked’ result they wanted.
“Despite the poverty in the land, the ruling party and government have unlimited budget for bribing the electorate, electoral bodies and causing mischief.
“The APC and President Buhari’s team are presently sharing N50m to members of the opposition parties in an attempt to cause crises within the parties. I heard that they have upped that of ADC to N100m, but they will fail.”
He said the ADC, which had been adopted by the former President Olusegun Obasanjo-led coalition and other groups, had a membership of 6.5 million persons.
The party chairman also told his guests that the ADC was a grassroots party which had registered about 1.2 million fee-paying members within the last three months with close to 10 million persons waiting to be registered.
The head of the visiting team, Mr Christopher Fomunyoh, who is also the Regional Director, Central and West Africa of the NDI, said the team was in Nigeria to assess Nigeria’s level of preparedness for the 2019 elections.
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He said, “We are currently visiting Nigeria to assess the level of preparations for the 2019 elections.
“It is our tradition to meet with all major stakeholders focusing on the electoral process. We also came to see what opportunities exist for future engagements.”
In response to ADC’s allegations, the APC challenged the party and its national chairman to provide evidence of such an offer instead of making baseless allegations capable of soiling the nation’s image.
The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, in a telephone interview with The PUNCH, in Abuja, on Wednesday, said “It is unfortunate that some Nigerians would think that they are playing opposition politics by making wild allegations before international organisations, that’s quite unfortunate.
“These individuals making these wild allegations cannot give you one shred of evidence to back their claims. Let them name the person or persons that made them such an offer.
“At least, they must be able to name a person who is offering money to cause trouble within them. If you can go as far as making allegations that have far-reaching implications on the reputation of your country, if that means anything to you at all, he should be bold enough to back it up with evidence.”
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