An Osun State-based civil rights group has described as â€œcrude, reckless and inciting,â€ the allegations by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the state chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) was trying to pressurise the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to shift the date of the by-election from July 8, 2017.
In a statement signed by its Executive Secretary, Tunji Awosehin, the non-governmental organisation said the only constitutionally empowered body to conduct and determine the date of elections is INEC, and the electoral umpire has reaffirmed its commitment to hold the Osun West senatorial district by-election on July 8.
According to the statement, â€œWe are disturbed and wish to alert the good people of Osun West senatorial district in particular and Nigerians in general as well as INEC to be vigilant to the blackmail tactics of these anti-democratic elements.
â€œTherefore, we are calling on the good people of the district to beware of the tactics of enemies of democracy who are seriously working to undermine the election but have resorted to employing blackmail as a tool to distract and confuse the electorate.â€
The group also called â€œon INEC, security agencies, political parties and the electorate to remain vigilant and resolutely committed to the peaceful and orderly conduct of the by-election on July 8. All eligible voters should troop out and participate in the election peacefully and exercise their fundamental human rights as enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights 1948.â€
Recently, the National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, had alleged that there were plans to shift the election, while INEC, through its Director of Publicity and Voter Education, Mr. Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, has said it has no plan to shift the by-election slated for July 8.