By Chuks Okocha
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Friday accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of playing to the gallery, claiming the commission knows the political party behind violence and thuggery in Edo state.
The PDP also said that it had uncovered plots by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in connivance with INEC to hand over ballot papers to APC for the purposes of rigging the September 19 governorship elections.
Addressing a press conference Friday, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan accused INEC of playing to the gallery, adding that the commission knows the political party that is behind violence and thuggery in Edo state.
The PDP spokesperson asked where was INEC when some thugs allegedly hired by some chieftains of APC attacked and injured PDP members during the flag off of its governorship campaign in Benin.
Some PDP members were attacked at the Oba of Benin palace gate during the flag off of PDP campaigns recently.
When asked for the reaction of the PDP to the threat by INEC to suspend the governorship election in the state because of violence, the PDP spokesperson said, ” INEC is aware of the party behind violence in Edo state and destruction of our campaign billboards and destruction of our members’ vehicles and injuring PDP members.
“Where was INEC when the APP was perpetuating violence in the 2019 governorship elections in Kogi, Kano and other states?
“Where was INEC when the woman leader of the PDP was attacked and killed in cold blood in Kogi state? Where was INEC? INEC has the powers to sanction any one perpetuating violence. It has the powers in the Electoral Act and it knows what to do. INEC should wake up to its powers and responsibilities”, he said.
Meanwhile, Ologbondiyan who serves as Secretary, Publicity Sub-Committee, National Campaign Council said the Peoples Democratic Party National Campaign Council for Edo Governorship Election had been made aware of plots by the APC and its sacked national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, to procure extra result sheets, to rig Edo election.
He said, “Our campaign has also been made aware of how Adams Oshiomhole and certain corrupt APC leaders have been threatening and mounting pressure on the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Yakubu Mahmood, and other officials of the Commission, to secretly provide them with ballot papers and form EC8 election results sheet to facilitate their plans for ballot stuffing and writing of election results.
“We have further information that the APC and its candidate have marked Edo North senatorial district, as where the extra ballot papers and result sheets would be pushed to APC thugs, including those to be brought in from neighboring Kogi state, to doctor election results for Ize-Iyamu.
“Already, a base has been established in a neighboring town of Kogi State which will be used to serve for operations in their callous plots.”, he said.
According to Ologbondiyan. Edo North has a borderline with Kogi, a state where unimaginable electoral violence, including burning a woman alive, was allegedly perpetrated by the APC in their desperation for electoral manipulation.