Text of The Press Briefing By The Hon. Minister of Information And Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, In Ilorin, Kwara State, on Thursday 14 Feb. 2019


Gentlemen of the press, thank you for honouring our invitation to this press briefing.

2. With less than 48 hours to the 2019 general elections, we have found it absolutely necessary to call national and international attention to the latest attempt by the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to create a state of anarchy in Nigeria, having realized that they couldn’t possibly win a free, fair and peaceful polls.

3. This is in line with the warning we have been issuing all along, that the PDP, jittery at the fate that is about to befall it and desperate to grab power at all costs, will seek to scuttle the elections, failing which it will work to discredit the results.

4. The latest manifestation of this desperation was revealed at a press conference by the PDP on Wednesday, during which the party said it would set up a parallel electoral body, under the tag of Parallel Voting Tabulation (PVT) System. The PDP said clearly that PVT is a tool that will determine whether or not it accepts the results of the elections.

5. Now, this is anarchy. Yes, it is standard practice for political parties to have their own monitoring systems during elections. What is not standard is to set up a pseudo electoral commission and imbue it with the power to collate and announce results. That’s precisely what the PDP is doing under the guise of PVT. And this is totally unacceptable.

6. Whereas the PDP’s presidential candidate says his ambition is not worth the life of any Nigerian, his party has been doing everything possible to instigate anarchy and in turn put the lives of Nigerians in danger.

7. The PDP has been building up to this crescendo all along. The party has consistently attacked the two institutions that are pivotal to the elections: the INEC and the police. The strategy is aimed at eroding the credibility of the two key institutions as a prelude to discrediting the elections. We warned about this, and we have now been vindicated.

8. At this stage, we believe that INEC is the only body that has the statutory role of collating and announcing the results of national elections. Any attempt by any individual or organization to usurp this role is a recipe for chaos.

9. We are therefore using this occasion to warn the PDP that there will be dire consequences, should it proceed with its plan to usurp the role of INEC. We call on the security agencies to ensure the sanctity of the polls by providing a safe and secure environment for Nigerians to cast their votes. We also appeal to Nigerians to feel free to exercise their franchise without fear.

10. We also wish to alert the international community to the evil plans by the PDP, which has been threatening fire and brimstone if its candidate fails to win on Saturday.

11. We want to remind all Nigerians that the country’s unity and survival are more important that the ambition of any candidate.

12. I thank you all for your kind attention.