A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Kaduna State and organising secretary of the campaign team that brought the immediate past governor of the state to power, Namadi Sambo, in 2007, Engr Namadi Musa, has sensationally revealed how the party rigged previous elections in the state.
Sambo is the current Vice-President of Nigeria.
Musa made the revelation at Arewa House in Kaduna while delivering a paper titled: “Credible Leadership for Good Governance: Beyond Regional and Ethno-Religious Sentiment,” at a one-day interactive session tagged “Countdown to 2011 General Election,” organized by the Initiative for Moral Rebirth in Nigeria.
Musa, who is still a member of the PDP, however said he decided to reveal the dirty past of the party because he was now a reformed individual and was no longer willing to participate in rigging in future elections.
But he contended that even though the latest voters registration exercise had reduced the PDP’s chances of rigging by over 60 per cent, the party would still win the presidential poll. But he was silent on what would become of the party in the April governorship election in the state.
Musa, who is now vice chairman of the Political Committee of the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria, further said: “I am in PDP; I like PDP and I will be in PDP but the party is bad.
However, I don’t want us to completely blame PDP for Nigeria’s woes because since 1999 the party has always co-opted members of other political parties in the running of the affairs of the country. Therefore, the political arrangements we have in the country have contributed in no small measure to Nigeria’s problem.
“But let me say that the recent registration exercise has reduced our chances of rigging by over 60 per cent. I say so because most Nigerians now have the statistics of how potential voters registered. So inflating the number, which is one of the many ways we rigged, has been reduced.
“Historically speaking, PDP has never won in Kaduna North, Sabon Gari and Zaria councils. But we have about 13 ways of rigging. One of them is by increasing our votes without tempering with the votes of the opponent.
“For instance, if on the voters register the number of registered voters is 100 and at the end of election in a polling unit we scored 20 while the opposition scored 80, all we do is to tamper with the register by increasing the number of registered voters to 400 and award all the 300 votes to the PDP. By so doing, we have not tampered with the votes of the opponent but we have increased ours. But, like I said, it is unthinkable to try this method in the forthcoming elections because most people have the figures now.
“Another one is to use the opposition party to rig itself out. We use this method especially in strongholds of the opposition to rig them out. We monitor such polling units and approach the opposition party agents, who unknowingly will play along with us. If say in a polling unit the opposition recorded 300 votes while PDP had 20, we just say: “This PDP people are useless people, we even hate them. Take our votes, add it to your candidate’s own so that the number will increase.”
The agent will be happy, thinking we are helping them. Once we start collating, we will raise eyebrow to say number of those who voted is more than the number of those who registered. And you know one vote more than registered number of voters will lead to automatic cancellation of the results. This is why most times you hear that results of polling units where ordinarily the opposition would have won would be cancelled. So once those cancellations are made, it gives us upper hand.
“But I will not do that again. Allah is my witness. May He forgive me for the ones I have done in the past. I will not be party to it this time around. We have to say the truth for the sake of our tomorrow. Politics provides the direct key to heaven or hell fire. So politicians have a choice,” the PDP chieftain added.
On the presidential poll, he was emphatic that President Jonathan would win, not because he likes it but, according to him, it is based on the present realities on ground, even as he called on the opposition to prepare for 2015.
“For 2011, it is all over because we (PDP) will win. In the past, say 1979, Nigerians voted for party. But these days, it is individuals that are being voted and not party. I like (Muhammadu) Buhari but CPC (Congress for Progressive Change) is not in any way different from the PDP. If Buhari leaves the CPC today, the people will follow him.
So that shows you that it is about individuals and not about party. I pray Buhari becomes the President but it is unlikely. The truth is that I will be happy if Buhari wins, because it will force the PDP to go back to the drawing board, where we will now sit down to address our problems. But it will not happen.
“I see Buhari’s party as a northern party and his winning the northern votes alone cannot make him President. If the merger between the CPC and ACN (Action Congress of Nigeria) had worked, PDP would have been finished. It is not realistic for ACN to have dissolved into the CPC. So if Buhari wins the North, he won’t get the spread.”
Asked if it was morally right for him to remain in the PDP, considering what he referred to as the ungodly things himself and the party had been involved in in the past, Musa responded: “Morality is a relative term. When Sheik Gumi was alive, he once said it would be nice to have a Muslim as the Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries, and people said ‘haa!’, and he continued by saying as long as he would reduce the quantity of beer produced. So you can remain in a place for the purpose of reforming the place or to further wreck the place, which is one.
“Two, during the PDP presidential primary, some Mallams were preaching in the mosques that people should collect Jonathan’s money but ensure they do not vote for him. Is that morality?” he asked rhetorically.