- Alleges plot to discredit Kogi primary election
Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Thursday ruled out any mass defections in the party due to the outcome of the Supreme Court judgment that dismissed the party’s presidential election petition against the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The party also raised the alarm over plans by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to manipulate the outcome of the party’s governorship primary elections in Kogi State with a spurious allegation that the commission did not monitor the primary election, thus questioning its credibility.
Addressing journalists Thursday at the party’s secretariat in Abuja, the National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said the party was strong, adding that the Supreme Court’s decision will not in any way affect it.
He said: “If for anything, the Supreme Court’s dismissal of our presidential petition will make the party stronger. This is because Nigerians perceived the judgment as anti-people. Indeed, the judgment will make Nigerians see PDP as a rallying ground because the party is always the champion of the people’s interest.
“It will not cause any mass defections; rather, it will make Nigerians who are suffering from bad government policies to see PDP much more as people-oriented party. Mark my words, PDP will rebound and the chances are brighter.”
The main opposition party also condemned and cautioned INEC and APC not to, in anyway, attempt to alter INEC’s monitoring report on the governorship primary in Kogi State or attempt to tamper with the record of submission of candidate for the November 16 governorship election.
Ologbondiyan said PDP’s warning was predicated on intelligence available to its national secretariat of plots by known INEC officers and certain APC leaders to alter INEC’s monitoring report and delist the PDP candidate in a bid to make Governor Yahaya Bello the only strong candidate and deny the people of Kogi State their desire to vote in its candidate, Musa Wada, as their next governor.
“Of course, this plot is dead on arrival, as our candidate, Musa Wada, remains duly nominated through the statutory processes of our primary, which was well covered in the monitoring report released by INEC. The PDP cautions that any attempt to tamper with his candidature will trigger the wrath of the people,” he added.
According to him, the party is already aware of every stage in this conspiracy against the Kogi State as well as the actors involved.
He said: “Already, our party is working with the people of Kogi State to stop them on their trail. The PDP is fully aware of the details of the meeting between the INEC officials and the APC stalwarts on Sunday, October 20 and Monday, October 21, 2019 at the INEC office in Lokoja, on how to alter INEC’s position in its earlier released monitoring report, which confirmed the validity and transparency of our governorship election primary.”
Efforts to get a reaction from INEC proved abortive as calls and text messages sent to the commission’s commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education, Mr. Festus Okoye, were not acknowledged.
The national publicity secretary further said that PDP was aware of how the conspirators have recruited 205 APC loyalists, who are being trained at Muslim Community School, Lokoja to impersonate NYSC members as electoral officers in designated areas to enable the APC and INEC to manipulate the process in such areas.