By Bisi Olaniyi, Southsouth Bureau Chief
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are engaged in war of words over alleged N5 billion billed for electoral malpractices in Edo.
The Media Campaign Council of Edo APC, through its Chairman, Prince John Mayaki, in a statement, alleged a sinister plot by the PDP and its governorship candidate, Governor Godwin Obaseki, to compromise identified officials of various agencies carrying out key roles for rigging agenda during the September 19 election.
It stated that it had received credible reports from a top source that PDP members rose from a meeting in a hotel at a secluded location in Benin after finalising the plot.
According to him: “It was revealed that the plotters agreed to earmark N1 billion cash as the gift for specific officials of the various agencies involved in the prosecution of the election in Edo State, with an extra N4 billion set aside to purchase voters across the state on September 19.
“Each voter is pencilled to receive N20, 000 on Election Day. The money is being planned for shipment into the state through the airport.
“With us are the detailed information including those who held the meeting, the venue of the meeting, identified officials of the various agencies to be purchased and the channels of disbursement of the cash haul.
“Officials of the various participating agencies are warned not to soil their impeccable image and track records of probity and fairness by accepting PDP’s mess of pottage. All the designs by the PDP shall be exposed.
“The party should desist from artifices that can compromise free, fair, and transparently credible polling exercise on September 19.
“We call on relevant agencies of the Federal Government, including the Nigeria Police, Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to mount structures to scuttle the grand lie, which PDP is planning to tell on September 19.
“The move is a potential strategy to set the state on fire by unleashing every imaginable brand of mayhem and thuggery in the state.”
But the PDP in Edo, through its Publicity Secretary, Chris Nehikhare, dismissed the alleged plot as childish in a chat with The Nation.
He said it was simply a childish attempt to divert attention from what APC leaders were planning to do, while urging discerning minds to ignore the lies.
He accused the APC of engaging in propaganda since, according to him, they had nothing to offer residents, assuring that Obaseki would emerge victorious on September 19.