The All Progressives Congress has accused the President Goodluck Jonathan administration of sponsoring ethnic militias such as the Odua Peoples Congress and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra to foment trouble before, during and after the forthcoming general elections.
This is just as the OPC is set to hold a march on Monday (today) to endorse Jonathan and demand for the removal of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega.
The APC in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said N9bn was recently paid out to the OPC, MOSSOB and a few others to scuttle the polls.
The party said the protests by MASSOB last week seeking the sack of Jega were orchestrated by Jonathan as part of his continued efforts to sabotage the elections.
The APC said more ethnic militias are to be enlisted by the Jonathan administration to continue the protest against Jega and the card reader, in order to give the impression that Nigerians want Jega sacked and are also against the use of card readers.
The party expressed sadness that a President who inherited a united Nigeria has done “everything he can to divide the country along ethnic and religious lines, including patronising ethnic militias who serve no other purpose than to champion sectional interests at the expense of national unity.”
It wondered why Jonathan would pay N9bn to a handful of people at a time of great economic downturn and falling naira, as well as in a situation in which many states cannot even afford to pay their workers because of dwindling allocation from the Federation Account.
However, the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation in a statement by its Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, dismissed the allegations as false.
According to him, “Once again, Lai Mohammed has indulged in lies on behalf of his lying party, the APC. It is not true that the PDP or the Federal Government is sponsoring ethnic militias. It is also not true that N9bn has been allocated for that purpose.
“It is rather the APC that has consistently supported and sponsored the Boko Haram both in substance and in their utterances over the last few years. This recourse to telling a lie every day by the opposition party will not in any way assist them in achieving their objectives.
“We will remain focused on the issues. We will talk about their weaknesses and we will also talk about the achievements of President Jonathan on why it is that it is important that he is re-elected back into power on March 28. That is our focus.”