17th November, 2014
With the 2015 general elections just months away, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo Stae, southern Nigeria, has alerted Nigerians and his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, has uncovered plots by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to rig its candidates, including President Goodluck Jonathan, into office.
Oshiomhole said his party was prepared to battle the PDP and ensure its plan to rig does not work out.
In an exclusive interview with TheNEWS magazine published in the current edition circulating nationwide, the governor maintained that one of such strategies being adopted by the PDP and the President is the use of the Armed Forces during the exercise.
To him, Nigerian soldiers and other security agencies should be seen as agencies of the people of the country and not just of the ruling class or party at the centre.
Oshiomhole, who has often maintained that President Jonathan has not performed enough to make him win his 2015 re-election bid, also reminded the President that it would be difficult for him and other members of his party to rule with a stolen mandate.
“When the President says Edo will fall to PDP, Rivers will fall to PDP, is it on account of PDP’s performance in these states? The threat is clear that they intend to rig, but they cannot govern with a stolen mandate. That would be absolutely impossible,” he said in the interview.
He said it would be possible to allow the people choose in a free and fair election who they really want to lead them.
“My advice to the Federal Government is that they should forget any attempt to rig; let the votes count. If the people want anybody to continue, let him continue. If they want anybody to go, he has to go…the country is bigger than any of its citizens.
“The fact that people plan to rig doesn’t mean they will succeed in the rigging. Half of the job is done when you are aware that people are planning to break into your house.
“It will then be up to you to go and sleep and start snoring, leaving your doors and your windows open,” he said.
Oshiomhole also said it was time to for the people to elect someone with the courage to meet expectations as their leader.
He said at this stage of the country’s existence, “we need a leader that can think and have the liver to make decisions and stand by them; one that sees beyond the accident of his birth place, one that sees the country as one constituency, one that will downplay religion and play up issues the way we did in NLC.
“It requires courage, it requires commitment. Courage to deal with the big boys, and courage to deal with the small boys.
“I think even in Edo, we have shown that. We’ve pulled down the houses of big people as much as we have done the houses of small people,” said.