The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the recent confession on national TV by a former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu that he rigged elections was personal and not for the party.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had after the confession by Mantu called other PDP leaders to follow suit and ‘confess’ their ‘sins’ to Nigerians for possible forgiveness.
However, the party had in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan on Sunday said Mantu’s reported claims are personal to him and has nothing to do with the PDP.
He said the party has never directed any of its members to rig election on its behalf at any point since its formation.
He said even when he did not rig directly, he paid election officials and party agents to do the rigging. The former senator said he decided to confess because he felt embarrassed by the way Nigerians were treated outside the country.
“The PDP has never directed or had any pact with him (Mr Mantu) to rig election on its behalf. Never,” Mr Ologbondiyan said on Sunday.
“Individuals run their elections on the platform of political parties once they emerge as candidates. In the PDP, candidates are issued with the party’s Code of Conduct containing the basic rules of electioneering engagements.
“There is nowhere in the rules of engagement where candidates or party members are directed to rig elections on behalf of the party.
“If any member’s conduct transgressed these basic rules of engagement, that individual did not act on behalf of the PDP, and as such the party cannot be vicariously held responsible.
Making reference to the 2007 senatorial election which Mr Mantu lost, the party questioned his rigging machinery, asking why he didn’t save himself.
“After all, in 2007, Senator Mantu lost his own senatorial election. What, then, happened to his rigging machinery, if he could not deliver himself.”
The opposition party urged the APC to manage its “incompetence, lack-lustre and wobbling” governance which, according to the PDP, has grounded the nation’s economy and brought hunger and starvation to Nigerians.