The Presidency has called on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to address issues raised about its role in the mass personal data mining at the heart of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal instead of raising false alarms to arouse public sympathy.
The advice was given in a statement signed by presidential spokesman, Mr. Garba Shehu. A PDP bigwig and supporter of former President Goodluck Jonathan was reported to have paid 2 million pounds to Cambridge Analytica for the company to hack into President Muhammadu Buhari;s health records in the run-in to 2015 elections. According to the Presidency, the PDP has been using false alarms to deflect attention from its squalid record of performance over 16 years and other misconduct.
“They should, instead, address the concerns raised about their role in the mass data harvesting at the heart of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, following the revelation that they hacked into candidate Muhammadu Buhari’s personal data in the run up to the 2015 general elections,” said the Presidency.
It noted that such unfair practices are capable of greatly undermining the country’s democracy.
The Presidency added that former US President Richard Nixon resigned to avoid impeachment when its party hacked into the opposition Democratic Party’s records.
“This is why a special counsel is investigating the alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election and if President Donald Trump’s campaign is complicit in the attempted subversion of democracy in that country,” said the Presidency.
It further stated that the decision of the PDP to drag the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to the United Nations over alleged plan to rig the next general elections is indicative of the level of desperation haunting the opposition leaders.
President Buhari, the statement said, is committed to free and fair elections in the country and would not tolerate anything that could derail Nigeria’s democracy.
As examples of the President’s commitment to free and fair elections, the statement cited the gubernatorial elections in Edo, Ondo and Anambra states, where popular will was respected. It called on Nigerians to be wary of PDP’s propaganda.
“For the PDP to be preaching free and fair elections is like a street-walker preaching about chastity. We must recall that the PDP postponed the 2015 general elections in the guise of national security challenges because defeat was staring it starkly in the face. However, despite the delay tactics, it was resoundingly defeated when the polls finally held,” the Presidency said.
It asserted that the PDP has lost every moral ground and it is mortally scared of facing the next general elections because Nigerians will always remember that the party plundered the country.
“The Cambridge Analytica hacking scandal committed against candidate Buhari by the PDP in 2015 in which billions of naira was paid out to the Israelis and others hackers has shown that the former ruling party lacks both the integrity and credibility to talk about election rigging. Instead of explaining their role in the scandal, the nation is greeted by stunning silence. Do they think this will simply blow away?” asked the Presidency.
The Presidency said rigging is PDP’s main area of core competence. It advised the party to work harder to win back the trust of voters instead of spreading false alarm to gain international sympathy.