- PDP says shifting Rivers collation to enable APC go to court
Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus has accused President Muhammadu Buhari, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and the military chief of grand design to destroy Rivers state if they fail to have their way electorally.
In a separate statement yesterday, the PDP through its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbodiyan alleged that the shifting of the collation of gubernatorial election results in Rivers State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to April 2nd and 5th, 2019, without providing any reason, was a calculated attempt to create room for the All Progressives Congress (APC) to engage in judicial manipulations.
The PDP National Chairman, in a statement by his media aide, Ike Abonyi, yesterday, said that the wicked plan was to stretch the endurance limit of the people, break their capacity to defend democracy so that when they react, they would find reason to kill them and declare a state of emergency.
Secondus stressed that having failed in a nefarious plan to hijack power in the state using all anti-democratic means, Yakubu and the military chiefs have now yielded to the design of stretching the state electoral problems until there was total breakdown of law and order.
He stated, “Prof Yakubu has chosen to keep shifting the completion of collation of election results in the state as part of a bigger plot that will enable the APC faction go to court, create more confusion that would linger until swearing in for a constitutional logjam to frustrate PDP out for the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi who is a willing tool in the destruction of the state.
“This is part of a grand plan of the cabals to create division among brothers in the guise of helping one of the parties when the real agenda is to have the opportunity to plunge and hijack the abundant hydrocarbon industry of the region.
“Nothing underscores this heinous act more than Prof Yakubu choosing to shift completion of collation of results to April 2 that is over 20 days after March 9, when the election ought to have been concluded.”
The National Chairman explained that what was going on in Rivers was a clear show of might from a people that had no interest of the state at heart, it did not matter to them if the state was destroyed, protecting the interest of one man whose candidate was not on the ballot.
He said, “What they actually desire is to pull all Niger Deltans to the creeks and let the power monger cabals at the Villa overrun the place and hijack the hydrocarbon industry of the region.
“Rivers State, which is the economic hub of the Niger Delta region and the nation’s headquarters of hydrocarbon industry, has been held down since March 9 when the military invaded the state collation center ostensibly to protect the interest of a faction of APC that had no candidate in the election.”
Secondus stressed that some credible intelligence available to the party showed that the long stretch of the electoral process in the state was part of a larger arrangement by the federal government and their critical agencies that include the military using Yakubu to punish the state for the APC’s self-inflicted problem that deprived them of having candidates in the elections in the state.
“The shift is deliberate and intended to help APC regroup for further onslaught on the people, all in the agenda of hijacking power by hook or crook in Rivers state,” he concluded.
The main opposition party has also accused the electoral body of plot to assist the APC to manipulate the electoral processes in Bauchi, Sokoto and Adamawa states, ahead of the March 23, supplementary elections, Ologbondiyan, alleged yesterday in a press conference in Abuja.
He stated: “In Rivers state, our party holds that the shifting of the collation of results by INEC to April 2-5, 2019, without providing any reason, is a calculated attempt to create room for their partners, the APC, to engage in judicial manipulations or abracadabra to scuttle the election already won by the PDP.
“The PDP cautions that such shenanigan by INEC is highly provocative, especially as the people of Rivers state are already aware of all the results delivered from the polling units, which puts the PDP in clear lead. Any alteration will spell doom for our democracy given the place Rivers State occupies in our national economy.”
Ologbondiyan said in Bauchi, Nigerians were all aware that INEC was yet to complete the collation of results to determine the margin of lead in the governorship election, yet it was proceeding to conduct a supplementary election.
He added that this anomaly being created by INEC was directly geared to cause confusion and muddle-up the Bauchi electoral process and pave the way for allocation of fictitious votes to the APC.
The party spokesperson stressed that the party had reports of how the INEC leadership connived with the APC to delay the collation of results from Tafawa Balewa Local government, then stampede the courts to halt the process in an attempt to ambush the March 23 Supplementary election.
Ologbondiyan stated: “This informs why INEC hurriedly and shamelessly jettisoned its statutory independence and implemented the unconstitutional ex-parte order to halt the collation of results in Bauchi and Adamawa states, even before the order was enrolled and served on it.
“The PDP cautions INEC to note that it already has the figures of votes delivered at the polling units. We also have figure of voters with PVCs in the areas where INEC plans to conduct supplementary elections. Therefore any attempt by INEC and the APC to pad the results to favour the APC will be firmly resisted.”
Ologbondiyan noted that PDP was in a comfortable lead in Bauchi and nothing could change that reality, irrespective of supplementary election, in which his party was set to win.
He noted that in Adamawa, the PDP had been informed of how the APC and INEC were conniving to cause confusion and alter the figures of already collated results of the governorship election won by the PDP.
Ologbondiyan stressed that the situation had become so pathetic that the Adamawa Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) was yet to officially state the commission’s position on whether the supplementary election would hold or not.
The PDP therefore reminded INEC that it had the figures of the already collated results in Adamawa and warned that any attempt to tamper with such would be faced with dire consequences.
In Sokoto State, the PDP alerted Nigerians of the invasion of the state by heavily armed thugs imported by the APC from neighbouring states of Kano and Zamfara to unleash violence, cause confusion and help the APC to rig the supplementary governorship election, under official protection of compromised security agencies.
Ologbondiyan said, “However, the PDP wants INEC, the APC, their thugs and the compromised security personnel to note that the people of Sokoto State are determined to assert themselves in this election and anybody attempting to subvert their will would be doing so at his or her own risk.
“The PDP charges the Chairman of the INEC to ensure strict adherence to the use of card readers in all the Supplementary elections. Reports abound of how INEC jettisoned the card readers in previous elections, particularly in certain states earmarked for rigging for the APC, thereby leading to all manners of electoral manipulations. This must not be allowed in the supplementary polls.”