The Peoples Democratic Party on Tuesday alleged that the ruling All Progressives Congress and the presidency are planning to use security agents to intimidate voters and rig the Irepodun/Ekiti/Oke-Ero/Isin Federal Constituency by-election in Kwara State scheduled for this Saturday.
This is even as the Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, raised the alarm over the influx of suspected political thugs into the state.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, made the allegation in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday.
Ologbondiyan claimed the party is aware of a directive that the Divisional Police Officers in the nine police divisions of the constituency be transferred and replaced with friendly officers.
He cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC that such plot to rig the election would be a direct invitation to a crisis.
He said: “Having realised that there is no way they can win in any election in Kwara State after being rejected by the people, the APC and the Buhari Presidency are bent on manipulating the electoral process, including using our security agencies, particularly, the police against the will of the people.
“The PDP is privy to clandestine meetings at the Presidency, where the APC leaders handed down orders to the police high command to compromise the security architecture in Kwara state by transferring the Divisional Police Officers in the nine police districts of the Federal Constituency and replacing them with officers believed to be pliable to instructions to execute the APC’s rigging script in the election.
“Moreover, the people of Kwara state already have details of the brief handed to the new DPOs, including providing cover for APC thugs procured to unleash violence on voters and PDP supporters, snatch ballot boxes and disrupt elections in certain areas as well as to alter election results to favour of the APC candidate.
“The people are also aware of the directives to harass, intimidate, arrest, and detain indigenes of Kwara State, and to provide cover for the importation of aliens from other areas by the APC to participate in the election.
“The PDP, therefore, cautions the APC and their team of compromised security and electoral officials to retrace their steps or face the full wrath of the people of Kwara State, particularly, those in Irepodun/Ekiti/Oke-Ero/Isin Federal Constituency, who are now at full alert and completely rallied to protect their political territory and to defend their votes to the end with every means available to them as free citizens under the law.”
However, Kwara State Governor, Ahmed said APC planned to rig the election, adding there was influx of strange faces into the state.
Ahmed, who declared that the state is under siege, dropped the hint when he received Concerned Kwara South Youth at the Government House, Ilorin.
The Governor expressed fear over the redeployment of Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) in the Kwara South Senatorial District by the Inspector General of Police, alleging that the IGP’s actions at this critical period called for serious concern.
The Governor further explained that ordinarily government should have been excited with the police action of restrategising to ensure free, fair and credible election but past experiences have shown that the police was not sincere and faithful with the move.
According to him: “Past experiences in both Ekiti and Osun states had proven that the police force is trying to support the opposition to manipulate the by election.
“Credible information reaching us proves that the police are conniving with the opposition to cause mayhem and intimidate our people and get them defranchised in the by election”.
The Governor warned against threatening of the country’s democracy with the actions of the Inspector General of Police and appealed to the presidency to call the IGP to order.
Speaking earlier, leader of the protesting youth, Felix Alaba, had in his remarks thrown his weight behind the governor and praised him for the developmental projects across the state.
He also expressed concerns over the influx of strangers into Kwara South as by-election is fast approaching, explaining that the rate at which strangers arriving their communities called for concern.