By Adedayo AkinwaleÂ in Abuja
The Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG), an election monitoring and observer group, has raised the alarm over the safety of independent observers to be deployed to monitor the Ekiti State governorship election.
The group’s Director, Contact and Mobilisation, Faith Nwadishi, disclosed this in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja, while reacting to allegations by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) describing the election observers as APC agents.
The group described the allegation as wild and malicious, but howeverÂ Â urged security agencies to look critically into the threat issued by PDP to independent election observers who have been accredited to observe the Ekiti and Osun Governorship elections.Â
Nwadishi stated: “There is no doubt that the PDPâ€™s grand design is to scare away independent election observers. It is also plausible that the PDP and its current Governor of the State, Ayo Fayose, whose propensities for violence are well known, are working to provide a pretext to unleash violence as a means to manipulate the Ekiti Governorship elections which the Governor and his party have already vowed to win by all means.
Â “We recall that it was also in Ekiti State in 2015 that the late Professor Momoh of the National Electoral Institute was viciously attacked and manhandled by PDPâ€™s political thugs during the Governorship election that brought the current Governor to office.
“Our major concern however, is the new dimension to this PDPâ€™s shenanigan- the explicit threat to the safety of independent election observers accredited by INEC to monitor the forth-coming Ekiti and Osun Governorship elections.Â
“While alleging plots by INEC to use â€˜illegal observers to manipulate the electoral process, endorse irregularities, approve fictitious results and subvert the will of the electorate in favour of the APCâ€™ the PDP in its incendiary statement further said it â€˜wants INEC to note that the people of Ekiti and Osun Sates are already aware of the plotsâ€™ and that they â€˜are ready to resist suchâ€™.Â
“The PDP further claims that Ekiti and Osun States â€˜are immutable strongholds of the PDPâ€™ and â€˜that the citizens are politically sophisticated and will in no way hesitate to confront, with all energy available in a democracy, any attempt by anybody to sabotage the election.”
Â What we make of this statement is that the PDP is hiding under a subterfuge to mobilise and unleash violence on independent observers and claim that it was the peopleâ€™s reaction against APC agents,” she added.
The group called on Nigerians to hold the PDP responsible should any harm befall independent election observers deployed to monitor the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the stateÂ