Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Media Campaign Council in Edo State and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday engaged in war of words over an allegation by the main opposition party in the state that uncovered a plot by the ruling party in the state to manipulate the election process to their favour by presenting false voters.
The Director General of the APC Campaign Council, Dr. Cecil Esekhaigbe, also alleged that he had reports on Governor Godwin Obaseki’s alleged plans to use the state’s Abuja liaison office in illegal trade of voters’ cards.
He alerted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to the alleged ploy.
But the PDP in a statement by state’s Publicity Secretary, Mr. Chris Nehikhare, described the allegations as baseless, saying APC is the one obviously exploring such option.
He said “Snce we busted their Hope Uzodinma template, they are flying a kite and we will be vigilant to make sure their fake voters are not allowed into voting centres as they are the ones who want to use that to cause trouble at the polling units. Their plans will fail. They cannot subvert the will of Edo people,” he said.
PDP argued that the APC has turned into a purveyor of fake news, having realised that defeat is staring it in the face.
But Esekhaigbe alleged that: “Under the guise of assisting intending voters with transportation, the governor has released the sum of 250million to the Edo Liaison Office, Abuja to induce voters living in Abuja and also buy the PVCs of those who will not be able to attend at 200,000 per PVC. In executing this ploy, the Abuja Liaison office has sent out notices to platforms of Edo indigenes in Abuja, inviting them to come with their PVCs to the office from Friday 4th September to Friday 11th September, 2020.”
APC noted that, “the practice of voting buying is contrary to the Electoral Act and part of a clear template to rig the forth coming Edo State governorship elections. The APC is hereby calling on INEC and the relevant security agencies to investigate this desperate act by the Edo State governor and his agents with a view to nipping it in the bud.”