Adibe Emenyonu in Benin-city
Ahead of the Edo State September 19 governorship, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, of attempting to smuggle the names of agents of some political parties to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as those of the PDP.
APC Campaign Council identified the parties as Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Action Democratic Party (ADP), National Rescue Movement (NRM) and Labour Party (LP).
But in a swift reaction, the state Chairman of APM, Charles Ugiagbe, denied the allegation, saying: “I don’t know what they are talking about, I am not aware of that for now. We have submitted the list of our agents to INEC.”
Also, the PDP has denied the allegation, saying: “It is one of their (APC) baseless allegations as usual. We are talking about them bribing a national INEC commissioner to fill the name of agents with that of APC, they are now talking of PDP doing same. It is a baseless allegation.
A statement issued by the Chairman of the state APC Media Campaign Council, John Mayaki, in Benin-city yesterday, alleged that the list was doctored by the Government House for some parties who he alleged have been acting as stooges of the governor and the PDP.
Mayaki said: “Whatever Obaseki hopes to achieve with his concert of losers is not clear,” and called on INEC to be alert to any election rigging mischief.
“Just two weeks to go, you could see the confusion in the Obaseki’s camp. It is getting clear to them that they will be thrashed on election day. So, it’s electoral mischief galore, even of a most hare-brained kind, or how do you explain the attempt to smuggle in agents’ names when the exercise has closed?”
According to him, “Each passing day, you would hear them groan and cry, and do things real crazy. That is the fate of Edo State PDP,” adding that “ill luck is not transferable.”
However, the PDP in a statement through its state Publicity Secretary, Mr. Chris Nehikhare, wondered why anytime his party accused the APC of mischief, it comes up with all sorts of stories.
According to him, “You are aware a few days ago that we actually complained that a national INEC officer who is from Etsako West has turned himself to be the one that will appoint EOs and polling officers with APC; so there is no truth in this allegation. It is APC that is trying to stain the INEC.”