The All Progressives Congress has described as hogwash the excuse given by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party to explain the absence of its candidate Atiku Abubakar from the peace accord signing ceremony in Abuja.
To the APC, Atiku's absence was deliberate and the excuse given by his party an after-thought.
"To all discerning Nigerians, the PDP and Atiku's dubious claim of a "communication lapse" as reason for their no-show at Tuesday's formal signing ceremony is hogwash, as the peace committee duly and formally invited the PDP and Atiku like other candidates and political parties contesting the 2019 Elections", APC publicity secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu said.
"Atiku's eventual decision to sign the peace deal is clearly a face-saving move following widespread condemnation that greeted his initial refusal to agree to the peace deal. We, however, must not lose sight of the dangerous and ominous signs the PDP and Atiku have inadvertently shown Nigerians in the leadup to the elections.
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"Again, this brings to the fore, PDP's open declaration in August this year that the Party will deploy all "means, schemes, shenanigans in all ramification and magnitude" to manipulate the 2019 election.
"The APC reiterates that security and other relevant agencies must be on high alert to check this dangerous threat posed by the PDP's planned actions for the general elections. In 2019 and beyond, the votes of the electorate must count and the will of the electorate must prevail. We must stand against and resist plans by retrogressive elements who are now nested in the PDP and their agents to disrupt elections through violence and other undemocratic practices.
"For signing the 2019 election national peace accord, the Party affirms the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari led APC government to a free and fair electoral process. The APC government has an abiding pledge towards a participatory, peaceful, credible and transparent elections".