By Kolade Adeyemi, Jos.
The Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in Plateau said it has uncovered alleged plans by the Governor Simon Lalong-led APC administration to rig the southern senatorial election on October 31.
Publicity Secretary of the party, John Akans, in a statement on Friday, alleged Lalong is trying to disrupt the process for the engagement of the various Ad-hoc staff to be used by the Independent National Electorial Commission(INEC) in the conduct of the plateau South senatorial polls.
But Plateau APC secretary, Bashir sati countered the allegation.
He said: ” l can not even identified the PDP as been referred to. Is it the segmented, divided, scattered party? I urge them to go and put their house and stop crying woe before the bereaved. The APC is fully prepared for the forthcoming election in the state and by God’s grace, we shall win the election.”
The PDP alleged: “The Plateau state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party is constrained to bring to the notice of Plateau people, particularly the southern senatorial zonal electorates, the civil society, national and international observers and indeed lovers of democracy steps being taken by the ( INEC) state residents electoral commissioner Alh Haliru Pai who is acting the script of Governor Lalong and the APC candidate Prof Nora Daduut towards subverting the will of the people of Plateau State particularly the Plateau South Senatorial zone in the forthcoming senatorial election.
“We have been reliably informed that the state resident Commissioner (Alh Haliru Pai)has started generating names in collaboration with the state Governor and the candidate of the APC to recruit APC members as Ad-hoc staff the commission will use for the senatorial election which we know will obviously disrupt the neutral process for the engagement of various Ad- hoc staff to be used by INEC.
“The normal and acceptable tradition is that the national youth service corps(NYSC) members are used in the electioneering process, or all political party’s involved in the election are requested to submit names of persons to be used as Ad- hoc staff but the state resident electoral commissioner Alh Haliru Pai and his APC collaborators are in the process of abusing it as it is a known secret that they are skewing the process to favour the APC since INEC doesn’t want to follow the due process .
“The way and manner in which it is concealed from the public is definitely suspicious.
“We are waiting for INEC announcement on Ad hoc staff recruitment ”
“Our specific reference here is on what is now happening in the commission in the recruitment of the following persons.
“The Polling officers (PO), who are supposed to be serving national youth corps( NYSC) members have been changed and Lalong and APC are nominating APC members to fill these positions to actualize APC’s Plans to rig the election.
“The supervising Polling officers are also being engaged by the state residents electoral commissioner Alh Haliru Pai to serve the interest of the APC.
” For the collation officer’s (CO) the state resident electoral commissioner is planning to influence the engagement of persons with personal ties with Governor Lalong and the APC candidate Nora Daduut to rig the election in favour of the APC during the polls thereby undermining the electoral process.
“We are equally aware that the state resident electoral commissioner has started working with the APC to get his officials work against the system and the people of plateau state.
“This plan is an evidence that the APC has lost the hope of getting elected through the ballot and are busy working with INEC Commissioner and other officials of INEC to subvert the will of the people.
“While we have confidence in INEC as an institution, we are at this early stage calling on the national leadership to draw the attention of the state electoral commissioner to be transparent/straightforward and not jeopardize the effort of the commission in order to have an election that would uphold the will of the people as has just been commendably done in Edo state.
“We therefore call on INEC leadership to review and adhere strictly to the known and open process of recruiting Ad hoc staff as the activities of the state resident electoral commissioner have been revealed to be threatening the earned integrity of the commission in the Edo governorship election, which will dent the outcome of the election if this collaboration is allowed to go on.
It concluded that, “I repeat, PDP is waiting for INEC announcement on ad hoc staff recruitment!No more no less!
However, the Nation reports that the Plateau South bye- election will on the 31st of October, 2020, in six Local Government Areas of the state, namely, Shendam, Qua’anpan, Wade, Lantang North, Lantang South and Mikang, where 19 political parties are to participate.
The bye-election is necessitated by the death of Senator Ignatius Longjan on February 10, 2020.