By Dirisu Yakubu & Ozioruva Aliu – Benin City
The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Edo State said it has uncovered plots by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to rig the coming election through fake voters and buying of Permanent Voters Card with huge sums of money.
Chairman of the Edo state APC Media Campaign Council Mr John Mayaki in a statement said members of the PDP are planning to invade polling units with people with fake PVC and “they will work with some compromised staff of the commission (INEC) to give them fake accreditation – please let all relevant bodies and security agencies take note of this. We must all work together to checkmate this plan in order to avoid smooth rigging.”
“We also have reports from people within Edo that they have tried to mobilise to furnish their sinister desires. They are already asking for people’s account details promising to credit them money two days to the elections. They will train you, pay you and make you vote for them.”
Similarly, the Director General of the APC Campaign Council, Dr Cecil Esekhaigbe, yesterday said “Under the guise of assisting intending voters with transportation, the governor has released the sum of N250m to the Edo Liaison Office, Abuja to induce voters living in Abuja and also buy the PVCs of those who will not be able to attend at N200,000 per PVC.
“In executing this ploy, the Abuja Liaison office has sent out notices to platforms of Edo Indigenes in Abuja, inviting them to come with their PVCs to the office from Friday 4th September to Friday 11th September 2020.”
However, the Publicity Secretary of the PDP Chris Nehikhare said, “APC has turned into a one fake news per day party.
“This allegation is baseless. APC is obviously exploring this option since we burst their Hope Uzodinma template. They are flying a kite and we will be vigilant to make sure their fake voters are not allowed into voting centres as they are the ones they want to use to cause trouble at the polling units.
“Their plans will fail. They cannot subvert the will of Edo people,” PDP scribe added.
Contrary to the APC claim, the PDP alleged that APC was planning to use cloned PVCs to compromise the election in its favour.
This is as the party also accused a national commissioner with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, of changing the names of adhoc staff already recruited by the commission on the directives of a former leader of the APC.
In an interactive session with newsmen on Thursday, National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, urged the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu to speak up on the allegations in the interest of electoral openness and transparency.
He said: “We have information and we want INEC to speak out on the allegation that one of its national commissioners (names withheld), is being used to manipulate Supervisory Polling Officers, SPOs and local government Polling Officers in respect of the election of September 19 and we are challenging Prof. Mahmood Yakubu to speak out on this matter.
“We also have information that INEC working in cohort with the APC and their candidate, is going to allow for the use of cloned PVCs on the day of the election.
“We have all these allegations and we want to assure the people of Edo State that the PDP is following up and seeking strategies to neutralise all these game plans.”
Meanwhile, the Deputy Director-General of the Edo State PDP Governorship Campaign Council, Engr. Gideon Ikhine, has assured Edo people that with Governor Obaseki as its governorship candidate, victory is certain at the September 19 poll.
Urging eligible voters to come out en masse to ensure the governor’s victory, Ikhine said Obaseki remains committed to projects that will attract more development to the state.
Ikhine, who spoke to journalists in Benin City, said the ward-to-ward reelection campaign rally embarked upon by Obaseki, has further challenged the governor to do even more for Edo people.