APC Explains How PDP is Planning to Rig Osun Election
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has raised the alarm over a multi-pronged strategy by the federal authorities to skew the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Osun State favour of the PDP, just like they did in Ekiti State last month.
The party said the dubious strategy by the federal authorities involves using the military and other security agencies to lock down the state days ahead of voting as well as an ongoing starving of the state of funds so it cannot meet its obligations.
”Whereas Ekiti was locked down about three days to the election in the state, indications are that Osun will be locked down at least a week before the state’s poll, while the security agencies will again be used to harass, intimidate and arrest opposition politicians just like they did with impunity in Ekiti.
”We are raising the alarm now so the world can see that any election can only be described as free and fair if the entire process is transparent and not skewed in favour of any of the parties. We insist that election is a process, and that whatever happens on election day is only but a part of the whole.”
The party also expressed concern over delays in distributing the permanent voters’ cards to registered voters in the state ahead of the August 9 governorship election in the state, warning that the delay might be a ploy to disenfranchise voters.
It urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to maintain its neutrality during the forthcoming election, and to ensure it does not do anything that can affect the credibility of the commission or the integrity of the election.
APC said INEC had been painfully slow in processing the permanent voters’ cards, wondering if the electoral body was not doing so deliberately to disenfranchise voters, especially in the opposition strongholds.
”The slow processing of the permanent voters cards has in particular hit the Central Senatorial District of the State, and has affected those who had earlier registered as well as those who registered this year,” it said.
The party said INEC had continued to tell those who throng its offices in the state to collect their permanent voters cards that the cards are not ready, without giving an indication of when they will be ready for collection.
”If INEC has no diabolical plan, then it should speed up the processing of the permanent voters cards. We say this based on the reported announcement by the REC in Osun State that whoever does not possess a permanent voters card will not be allowed to vote in the Aug. 9th election,” the party said.
The APC recalled that a few days before the Ekiti governorship election on June 19, INEC Chairman, Porf. Attahiru Jega, had told stakeholders that the commission would use colour-code ballot papers to ensure that ballots meant for one local government are not taken to another.
”However, not only did INEC not use colour-coded ballot papers in the Ekiti election, it never felt the need to explain its sudden volte-face. This is a blow to the integrity of INEC and we hope it won’t be repeated,” the party said.
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