Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fearing Violent Backlash, PDP Hires Calming Voices---SAHARA REPORTERS

CAPTION: CPC adherents escorting ballot boxes to collation center in Katsina
By SaharaReporters, New York

As polls closed today all over Nigeria, observers in Nigeria report that the sense of buoyancy by supporters of the People's Democratic Party and the air of confidence exuded by President Goodluck Jonathan seemed to be petering out. This new guarded tone owes to the fact that poll figures pouring in from most of Nigeria’s Northern states show that the candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change performed better than initially anticipated.
Besides, a security source told us that Mr. Jonathan and his team was worried that any victory secured through the party’s manipulation of the elections could create widespread protests, especially in the Northern part of the country.
Already there are rumbles of protests in several Northern states where the ruling party was trying desperately to manipulate the polls. A report from Bauchi spoke of sporadic violence as people protested efforts by Governor Isa Yuguda to keep agents of the CPC from collating centers. In Jigawa State, youths trailed a van with ballot papers from Sule Tankarka to Government House in Gumel where PDP agents were caught thumb printing the ballots for Mr. Jonathan. The irate youths reportedly burnt three vehicles used by the Government House riggers. Unconfirmed reports also stated that the youths torched the PDP headquarters.
Curiously, results from the Southeast and the South-South have been slow in coming in. SaharaReporters has learnt that the slow pace of results from these zones is part of a calculated strategy by the ruling party to steal the presidential election. The Jonathan team has lined up traditional rulers, clergy, opinion molders and journalists across the country to calm the populace to accept the results of the election. Such calming messages from “prominent” Nigerians are meant to serve as a prelude to the ruling party’s unveiling of its victory via rigging.

Among those recruited to preach calm are the Sardauna of Sokoto, the Ooni of Ife, pentecostal leaders, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and retired Colonel Abubakar Umar.
Several security sources have disclosed to SaharaReporters that the ruling party, security agents and INEC officials would collaborate in serious manipulation of election tallies overnight in several states, especially in the South Eastern zone. “The presidential figures will be inflated in Imo, Ebonyi, Anambra, Enugu, Rivers and Akwa Ibom,” said one of our sources, adding that PDP partisans were recruited all-day to engage in massive thumb printing of ballots. In addition, SaharaReporters learnt that two presidential jets were dispatched today to Lagos where former Governor Bola Tinubu and his associates helped the PDP to snatch victory.
SaharaReporters has been told authoritatively that Mr. Tinubu agreed to boost the Jonathan ticket and to rubbish Nuhu Ribadu, his party’s presidential candidate, after the Jonathan team struck a deal with Mr. Tinubu. “Chief Tinubu wants his EFCC file destroyed permanently, and Dr. Jonathan agreed to that. Tinubu also asked to be allowed to nominate the next attorney general of Nigeria,” said our source.
Mr. Tinubu, whose criminal activities stretch from drug deals in the US to false claims about his academic qualifications, is one of the most corrupt politicians in Nigeria. He has already tipped Yemi Osinbajo for the top post in the nation’s judiciary. Mr. Osinbajo, who is widely regarded as a fine legal scholar, served as attorney general of Lagos State under Mr. Tinubu.
One of the security sources revealed that the results from these states are being held back to be used as a "joker" after the Nigerian populace has been told to calm down and accept the results of the elections.

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