The Federal Government yesterday said that it welcomed statements from the United States and the United Kingdom calling for a free, fair and credible elections in the country.
The Nigerian government also welcomed the warning that punitive measures would be taken against election riggers and perpetrators of electoral violence in the forthcoming elections.
The governments of the United States and the United kingdom had issued a stern warning Thursday to would-be election offenders in month’s general election.
Both countries threatened visa sanctions against election offenders and their families.
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 realized they can’t win a free, fair, credible and peaceful elections,” the statement read.
”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 who, he said, is a tried-and-tested democrat and a man of integrity.
Mohammed added that he APC-led administration is very confident of victory in the forthcoming elections.
He said as a party not desperate to rig elections while in the opposition, the APC had no business rigging election or perpetrating violence now that it is in power and is enjoying massive support among Nigerians.
Mohammed, however, called on the international community to keep a close eye 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.
”As their campaign flounders and their strategies collapse, they have resorted to seeking power by subterfuge. That’s why they are doing everything possible to discredit an election that has yet to be held by unleashing their attack dogs on INEC, the police and the entire electoral process.
”On our part, we have confidence in the electoral process and the institutions saddled with organizing and securing the election. That’s why we have been busy campaigning vigorously across the country, attracting unprecedented, organic crowds everywhere we go.
”The party that has a history of rigging polls is well known to Nigerians. The party that has a history of using security forces to unleash violence in order to steal the people’s votes is well known to Nigerians. The party that organized an election that was later described as flawed by its own ‘winning’ presidential candidate is well known to Nigerians. That party is not the All Progressives Congress (APC),” Mohammed declared.