The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of training operatives in China as part of attempts to rig the 2019 presidential election.
While speaking during the PDP’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, the former vice president said some operatives were sent to China by the APC to train with devices that can sabotage smart card readers that will be used to accredit voters.
According to Atiku, the devices will be used by the operatives to slow down card readers in his supposed strongholds in the south south, southeast and north-central regions.
The 2019 presidential election is expected to be keenly-contested between Buhari and Atiku, 76 and 72 respectively, who were members of the same party only years ago.
He said the same devices will also be used to improve the operation of the smart card readers in President Muhammadu Buhari’s supposed strongholds in the northwest, north east and southwest regions.
He said, “We have just discovered that the APC has hired many of their operatives and taken them to China to be trained and they’re back and equipped with devices that are meant to slow or fasten our card readers.
“So if you’re in the south south, southeast and north central, you’re likely to get your card readers to be slowed by those APC operatives.
“We’ve seen the machines, interviewed some of those who have gone on this training and we’ve passed that information to the campaign council to pass onto you.
“But if you’re from the north west or north east and southwest, the tendency is that they’ll use these machines to fast track the readings of their card readers so that many of their supporters can vote while disenfranchising the other three zones. I thought you should know that.”
Atiku further revealed that the devices look like mobile phones and urged voters to “be guided accordingly”.
Atiku and Buhari are favorites to win the 2019 presidential election which was recently rescheduled from its initial February 16 date to February 23.
71 other candidates are listed to contest in the election even though some of them have dropped out and declared support for Atiku or Buhari.