Edo Poll: We Have Uncovered APC’s Rigging Plan, PDP Claims
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State said on Sunday that it had uncovered at least six strategies by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig the September 28 governorship election.
The PDP, in a statement by it Publicity Secretary, Mr Chris Nehikhare, however, appealed to its members to remain calm and law-abiding, saying this is a sacrifice they must make to in order to effect a change of governance in the State.
“This sacrifice is not for our party, but the oppressed, harassed and intimidated people of Edo State whose cry has been muted in the last eight years,” it stated.
According to PDP, “With just three days to the election more disturbing facts and information are continually being brought forward. As a political party, we are committed to democracy and all its tenets.
“We believe that the people must have their say and way as far as elections are concerned, but, unfortunately, APC seems to want to negate all we have achieved democratically in the last 16 years.”
The PDP said that the APC, according to its findings, planned to rig the election through thumb-printing of fake ballot boxes in its (PDP’s) strongholds across the State as well as destabilising peaceful conduct of the poll particularly in Uromi, Ovia, parts of Oredo in order to render the poll inconclusive.
The Party stated that, “Very credible information reaching us says that Governor Adams Oshiomhole and his APC have concluded arrangements to thumb print fake ballot papers on Monday 26/9/2016 at Ibillo, Akoko Edo local government area, Edo North, and then transport the thumb printed fake ballot papers to their areas of weakness. Thereafter, they will pretend to expose the perpetrators as PDP supporters.
“This ‘show’ becomes the excuse to crackdown on PDP foot soldiers and embark on massive arrest of PDP staunch supporters. To give credence to the ‘show,’ they will plant fake Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) in the homes of our people. At this juncture, we advise that everyone must be vigilant and on alert till elections are over.
“They are planning to destabilise the election in Uromi, Ovia and parts of Oredo in order to provoke inconclusive elections in their areas of weakness. To achieve this, they have recruited a General Collins who APC paraded in a press conference on Friday at which he boastfully announced the presence of his co-Generals who, including himself, have no business in Edo but to foment trouble.”
The PDP drew attention to what it refers to as “Collation Centre Danger”, saying that “we formally requested for a meeting with staff (Local Government Collation Officers, Returning Officer for the State, Staff in charge of card readers, E-Collation Officers and members of the ICT team) of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) assigned to the state to conduct the elections in Edo State. But that meeting never took place.
“We requested the names and identities of these staff to be made public but again we were denied. However, information available to us is that the INEC has granted the request made by the All Progressive Congress (APC) for a similar meeting with the above mentioned staff.
“We are also reliably informed that members of the APC have been granted remote access to the INEC servers and e-collation platforms. We are informed that this was done in furtherance of a plan by certain officials of the INEC to grant the APC real time access to the Commission’s e-collation platforms in a bid to enable them manipulate results on the field at polling stations where they are losing elections or disrupt the electoral process at such locations.
The PDP added: “We also requested for a meeting with senior officers of the Nigerian Police Force assigned to provide security for the State during the elections; again, we were denied. Instead, our members are harassed, intimidated and arrested on trumped-up charges. “
But we are reliably informed that members of the APC led by Governor Adams Oshiomhole were granted a similar meeting with these officers in a bid to influence postings of officers to areas of the state in a manner that will favour their party.”
“Yesterday (Saturday) night, on the Governor’s instruction, Police entered Okpella with 4 trucks to arrest some of our Party members.
“This type of impunity must stop and be condemned by all as this behavior negates the tenets of free, fair and transparent elections.
“We, again, appeal to our members to remain calm and law abiding as usual. This is the sacrifice one must make in order to effect change.
“This sacrifice is not for our party, but the oppressed, harassed and intimidated people of Edo State whose cry has been muted in the last eight years.”