Posted by News Express | 12 January 2015 | 4,483 times
The All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday alleged a conspiracy between the Department of State Service (DSS) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to postpone next month’s elections.
APC said the DSS’s findings, alleging that APC had planned to hack into the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) voter registration database, informed its suspicion.
At a news conference in Lagos, APC's National Publicity Secretary Lai Mohammed said the DSS fabricated lies to pave the way for INEC to postpone the elections.
The APC spokesperson wondered why it took this long for the DSS to come out with its findings, noting that it was done in conjunction with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), after discovering that Jonathan’s administration had been rejected.
He said: “We will like to tell all Nigerians that the crap called ‘findings’ is part of the ongoing efforts by the Jonathan administration to postpone next month’s general elections. Having seen the handwriting on the wall vis-a-vis the growing rejection of the PDP by Nigerians, the Jonathan administration has gone into a panic mode, while embarking on a plan to postpone the elections.
“The summary of the ‘findings’ is that our party, the APC, had an ‘’articulated plan to inflate the party’s membership data as well as hack into INEC’s voter registration database through the creation of party membership forms and cards to match INEC’s voters register across the country.
“Our immediate response, which was issued on the same day and which got a big play, was to dismiss the ‘findings’ as hogwash, a great disservice to Nigeria and an embarrassment to all intelligence-gathering organisations around the world.”
Mohammed added that having studies the ‘findings’, “we believe it is necessary for us to respond to the allegations in a more detailed manner that will show that we were even charitable to have described the report as hogwash. That DSS report is bunkum, garbage, and is not worth the paper on which it is written.
“Before you say our claim is outlandish, remember that some prominent Nigerians have publicly called for the postponement of the election – which can only benefit the Jonathan administration and delay its impending Waterloo at the polls.
“Place the calls side by side with the apparently doctored outcome of the DSS investigations and the timing of the report’s release, and you will understand where they are coming from.”
The APC chieftain said the “findings” cannot stand a serious scrutiny by independent investigators because the DSS worked backwards, from answer to question, in an effort to reach a pre-determined conclusion.
Mohammed maintained that the party was not aware that INEC had made a complaint of anyone or group trying to hack into its system.
“We are not aware that INEC has made a complaint of anyone or group trying to hack into its system. The DSS ‘findings’ are baseless as INEC’S database is a reflection of the registered members with the Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs). Please note that at the time of the DSS’ raids, the PVCs had already been printed. Therefore, of what value would it be to hack into the system and input more names?
“Simply put, it is not possible for the APC to hack into the INEC Data Base for the following reasons:
“INEC’s database is not online; how then is it possible for anyone to hack into it?
“To prevent virus intrusion, there is no Internet service at the APC Data Centre that was raided. Therefore, it is not possible to hack into INEC’s database.
“The DSS has claimed that hacking tutorials were discovered on an external hard drive. This is a lie! All the USB ports on the pc systems in the office were disabled to prevent virus intrusion. Therefore, the use of external hard drives is not allowed at the APC Data Centre. If this is so, how is it possible for an external hard drive containing these so-called hacking materials to be found on the premises of the APC Data Office?
“Please note that the work stations at our various data registration centres in the country are manned by unemployed youths with just basic computer knowledge. The question to ask is: Would the party have employed these people if the intent were to hack into INEC’s Data Base or employed gurus in the IT world?
“It is clear that the DSS purchased a hard drive and downloaded the information themselves from the Internet. After all, the DSS, by virtue of its duties, should be the hacking experts, hence hacking tutorials will be part of their staff induction training.
“As we have said, the overall motive of the raid of our offices and the so-called findings is to give the impression that the INEC voter’s register has been corrupted, hence cannot be used for next month’s elections. Now, a more specific question: Why did the DSS break into the APC Data Centre at the time it did?
“It is no coincidence that the DSS raided the APC Data Centre on Nov. 22nd 2014, exactly one week before the start of the PVC distribution exercise on Nov. 28th 2014.”
The party’s conclusion is that “the DSS came to vandalise our Data Centre is because the Service is working hand-in-hand with the PDP.
“They carried out the raids to know our party’s strength, in terms of membership. Please note that after the raids, many of our registered members could not find their names on the list when they went to collect their PVCs. This is not a mere coincidence,” Mohammed said.
•Adapted from The Nation.
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