Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, has called on the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to explain its role in the Cambridge Analytica hacking scandal.
He said the party’s alleged involvement in the scandal shows “rigging is its main area of core competence”.
It recently emerged that a wealthy supporter of former President Goodluck Jonathan allegedly hired SCL, a data analytics company, to malign President Muhammadu Buhari in the run-up to the 2015 elections.
SCL is the parent company of Cambridge Analytical.
Shehu, in a statement issued on Saturday, said the PDP must address the concerns raised about its role in the scandal, saying “nothing undermines a country’s democracy as such unfair practices”.
He said: “That is why President Nixon resigned to avoid impeachment when they hacked into the opposition, Democratic Party records, and 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.”
Shehu said the PDP’s decision to drag the All Progressives Congress (APC) and INEC to the UN over an alleged plan to rig the 2019 general election demonstrated the level of desperation that was haunting the opposition leaders.
“For the PDP to be preaching free and fair elections is like a street-walker preaching about chastity,” he said.
“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 PDP has lost every moral ground and it is mortally afraid of facing the 2019 general election because Nigerians will always remember their past and punish them one more time for economically plundering 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 other 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?
“Rigging is PDP’s main area of core competence and its party leaders are drowning men who won’t mind clutching at any straw for political survival.”
He said rather than hiding behind allegations of a plot to rig the elections, the opposition party should work harder to win back the trust of voters.
He urged the PDP to stop spreading false alarm to gain international sympathy.