By Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja
The Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has again alerted the international community, accredited election monitors and the public about a secret plot by Governor Adams Oshiomhole and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) to substitute members of the National Youths Services Corps (NYSC) trained for the governorship election with their party members.
In a statement signed by the state Publicity Secretary of the party, Chris Nehikare, PDP said the postponement of the state governorship election earlier scheduled for September 10, was in line with the governor and APC’s devious plan and had nothing to do with insecurity in the state.
According to the PDP: “The postponement was well planned to undermine the will of Edo people, we are now convinced that the phantom security advice by the Nigeria Police Force and the Department of State Services (DSS) was orchestrated by Oshiomhole and some cabal within the APC in the face of imminent defeat in the election.
‘’For instance, we all know that many members of the NYSC were trained by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as ad-hoc staff for the election. And going by NYSC Action Plan September, 2016, the trained NYSC members are to finish their clearance, as part of their final disengagement process that will end on September 30.
‘’And we have just been told by insiders within the APC that Oshiomhole and his party had compiled list of their party’s members that they will secretly use to replace the out-going trained NYSC members.’’
The party added that one of the reasons APC also asked INEC to fix the rescheduled election for Wednesday, September 28 — an official working day, is to deny many electorate outside the state, who planned to come to Edo State for the election, from doing so.
It said hundreds of the electorate outside the state had arrived Edo State before the election was postponed-with many of them feeling disappointed about the action of the APC-in connivance with INEC/security agencies.
The PDP added, ‘’We want to once again put the international community, accredited election monitors and the public on notice over the devious plan by APC. It will surely undermine our democracy and instigate crisis that might be very difficult to manage if Oshiomhole and his gang are allowed to have their way.
‘’It is now certain that the Edo State governorship election earlier scheduled for September 10 was put off by Oshiomhole and a group of cabal within the APC to enable them have more time to manipulate the election.
‘’And as part of their strategy, we also expect them to unleash all kinds of propaganda against our candidate in the next two weeks in order to complement their devious plans to manipulate the election.’’
PDP therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari who had benefited from the process of a free and fair election, to caution the governor and other federal institutions involved in the election not to plunge Edo State into avoidable security crisis just to satisfy the bragging ambitions of the APC, and its candidate, Godwin Obaseki.