- INEC denies claim, challenges PDP to produce evidence
Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) saturday accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of being in an unholy alliance with the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) to rig the 2019 elections.
In a swift reaction, however, the INEC faulted the PDP’s claim, noting that there was nothing like unholy alliance between the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and the APC and any other political party whatsoever.
The PDP made the allegation in a statement its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan saturday, linking the APC plan to rig the 2019 elections to the recent decision of the party to adopt direct primaries.
As shown in its statement, the opposition party said it was aware that the Presidency forced the direct primaries on party members “to eliminate delegates’ participation and pave way for the allocation of millions of conjured votes, which they intend to use as basis to authenticate the fictitious votes they intend to declare for President Buhari at the general elections.”
The statement said it had also uncovers plots by the Buhari Presidency and the APC “to use direct primary to validate their plot to rig the 2019 general elections, particularly for President Muhammadu Buhari, who has become grossly unpopular ahead of the elections.
“Having eliminated contest within the APC, the presidency is now apprehensive of apathy against Buhari due to his increasing unpopularity. It plots to import non-members of the party to satiate the venue of the presidential primaries to create an impression of overwhelming popularity for Mr. President and use that to validate the fictitious votes they are conjuring for the presidential election.
“The PDP is reliably informed that this rigging plot is the reason APC aspirants to other positions, especially, APC state governors, are demanding for direct primaries instead of the indirect primaries earlier approved for them by their party. PDP cautions the Chairman of INEC, Prof Yakubu, to end the unholy alliance between his commission and the APC.”
He added that the PDP was already privy to how very senior officials of the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC, including a blood relation of the President, who controls the commission’s data center, masterminded and pushed the plot for which they held several meetings with presidency officials and APC leaders.
He stated: “This rigging plot is the major reason behind the secret creation of 30,000 illegal polling units by INEC, in compromised areas, which we earlier alerted the nation about.
“This is in addition to plots by INEC to frustrate genuine voters from accessing their Permanent Voters Cards, so as to allow the cards in the hands of compromised INEC officials, who will attempt to use such to allocate fake figures for APC.”
The opposition party said that the Buhari Presidency and APC leaders must know that Nigerians are tired of them and are ready to stop all enemies of our democracy on their trails in this election.
Ologbondiyan stressed that President Buhari and the APC leadership should note that not all the APC members are happy with their anti-democratic proclivities and that such persons are indeed ashamed and embarrassed by the pedestrian nature of this rigging plan.
He said: “Consequently the PDP restates the demand that Prof. Yakubu immediately withdraws the illegal 30,000 polling centers and declare the location, status and voter population of all already existing polling units for review by political parties and the media.
“INEC must also publish on their website, the number of accredited voters in all polling centers before the commencement of voting in all elections, particularly the Presidential election.
“INEC, by now, should know that Nigerians are united in the desire for a new President and that any attempt to illegally allocate figures or detract from a free, fair and credible elections, come 2019, will be absolutely rejected by the people.
“Anybody, therefore, who yields to be used to test the will of the people, in the 2019 election, should be prepared to incur the wrath of Nigerians.”
In a telephone conversation yesterday, the Chief Press Secretary of INEC chairman, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi said that there is nothing like unholy alliance between the INEC chairman and the APCand any other political party whatsoever.
He challenged the opposition party to produce evidence to back its allegation if it had any to present.