- Party raising dust to impress their nat’l leaders–APC lawmaker
Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised the alarm that thousands of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) that were destroyed by flood last year were in possession of the lawmaker representing Oredo West constituency in the state House of Assembly, Mr. Chris Okaeben.
The party said Okaeben was allegedly spotted with thousands of the supposedly destroyed PVCs, and distributing same to his party loyalists and supporters.
The state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Chris Nehikhare, in a statement said the party has received information on the role INEC Electoral Officers (EOs) were playing in the local government areas they were assigned to supervise.
Nehikhare said the party was also aware of the N500, 000 alert from the state government agents for the EOs cooperation to smuggle APC members into the list of ad-hoc staff.
He alleged further that the EOs have given APC candidates PVCs in bulk to be distributing among their members while depriving other citizens and eligible voters their cards.
According to him, “To mask this fraud, the EOs are claiming flood have destroyed them. We believe the cards with Okaeben are some of the purportedly destroyed PVC”.
However, in a swift reaction Okaeben, who is seeking re-election on the platform of the APC, said the PDP was raising dust to create impression to Atiku Abubakar and their national officers that they are on ground in the state.
Okaeben, who threatened legal action against Nehikhare, challenged him to produce evidence where he was distributing PVCs.
“It is clear that the opposition parties are not ready for elections but willing to cause commotion with a view to creating impression before the international community that they are being intimidated and harassed.
“They do not have the money to pay their agents in the state. They are relying on River and Akwa Ibom State Governments.
“It is not a secret that they have turned Nyesom Wike as their farm where they go to collect political support and political oxygen. To buttress their claims in their proposal to Wike, they decided to bring in my name to their failed project. I am not afraid of political battle. The PDP has no political base in Oredo,” he stated.