APC accuses PDP of conniving with INEC officials to rig Edo guber election

APC accuses PDP of conniving with INEC officials to rig Edo guber election

Sunday, May 26, 2024 4:35 pm

Godwin Obaseki

Godwin Obaseki

By Jethro Ibileke

The All Progressives Congress (APC), in Edo has accused the state government-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), of conniving with some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to rig the 21 September governorship election in the State.

This is even as the PDP described the major opposition APC as a confused party parading a timid candidate they cannot sell to Edo People.

APC’s publicity secretary, Peter Uwadiae, had at a press briefing on Friday, alleged that the PDP plans to use INEC’s Continuous Voters Registration exercise to rig the election, under the guise of no adequate personnel for the exercise.

He said: “We have it on good authority that some gullible INEC officials in most of the 18 local government areas of the state, have approached Edo State government to provide them with ‘logistics’ for the CVR. In anticipation, these unpatriotic INEC officials have promised to allow the PDP unfettered access to INEC data capturing machines.

“Cashing in, the Governor has agreed with INEC to deploy the services of Edo teachers and civil servants in addition to members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, as Ad Hoc staff and promised to bankroll their stipends after the CVR exercise,” he alleged.

He also alleged that the state government is working closely with the head of INEC ICT unit so the PDP can manipulate the Voters’ Register and the BIVAs.

“We reject the use of Obaseki’s PUWOV, EDSTMA, State Security Network as security across the State for the exercise. The Nigeria Police, the Civil Defence Corps and other paramilitary are better for this critical exercise.”

Uwadiae, therefore, demanded the immediate deployment of INEC’s head of ICT in Edo and a strictcompliance with the INEC designated ward headquarters

venues for the CVR exercise, with a restriction of transfer of voters from neighbouring states during the CVR exercise.

Responding, the State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, described APC as disgruntled and an embarrassing opposition party.

According to him, “The press conference the APC held to me is a gathering of confused people who have nothing to offer. They are aware that they have the worst candidate who they are finding difficult to market.

“The allegation they made against INEC is like that of a man who is not prepared to write an exam that has been fixed for a certain date. We are embarrassed that this is the quality of opposition the APC is offering in the state.

“We want to say as a government we are interested in our people coming out to register during the CVR exercise. That is what governments do. Also, political parties encourage the people to come out to register because it is the vote of the people that decides who govern them.

“When INEC graciously decided to resume registration of voters, we were excited and as a government, we encouraged our people to come out because we believe that it is when more people register, then the government can be held accountable.

“We believing that the Edo people is satisfied with what we are doing as a government and they will all come out at vote for us.

“But APC as a party are disgruntled. Firstly, they have nominated a candidate that cannot express himself and they cannot sell to Edo People. They are worried about that and instead of admitting to their failure, they are busy making allegation to an unbiased umpire.”

Meanwhile, the head of voters’ education of INEC in Edo, Mr. Timidi Wariowei, has described APC’s allegation as unwanted aspersion on the Commission.

He said: “I don’t understand what they are saying. Last week, we held a stakeholders’  meeting, APC was represented, they didn’t say anything. The same thing took place in the 18 local government areas, they were also there and didn’t say anything.

“If APC or any other political parties has any grievances against the Commission or its staff, they have the right to petition the agency.

“Our doors are always open to everybody. This idea of press briefing to cast aspersion or unwarranted allegations against the Commission is not the best.”



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