The Campaign Council of Edo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, alleged that National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu and some chieftains of the party had perfected plans to rig Saturday’s election. It also claimed that they have concluded arrangements to buy votes with N300m pulled from council areas in Lagos State.
The party further alleged that former National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, had invited military officers from Kogi, Ondo and Lagos states to Edo ahead of the election to intimate voters from coming out en masse to vote.
Edo PDP called on President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Tukur Buratai to intervene, as the military officers have become a source of worry to residents and Edo electorate.
Addressing journalists at a media briefing in Benin City, Publicity Secretary of the PDP and Chairman of the council’s Publicity and Media Committee, Chris Nehikhare, said intelligence reports revealed that the council areas in Lagos State had been mandated to contribute N15m each to finance the rigging plan.
Similarly, Concerned Edo Leaders of Thought (CELT) had appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free and fair election in accordance with the Electoral Act and the 1999 Constitution as amended.
In a statement issued by its President and Secretary, Mike Asemota and Sunny Idugboe, the group said Edo State had been devoid of crisis, tribal or ethnic wars since its creation and wished that it remained peaceful during and after the governorship election. Also, the PDP alerted that some APC forces had begun moves to use frivolous lawsuits to scuttle the election.
It alleged that the said interests, who it noted, were masquerading through certain political groups, were seeking to blackmail the judiciary and stampede the courts to violate provisions of the Electoral Act and halt the exercise.
Speaking at a media briefing, its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, argued that the Electoral Act had put paid to situations in the past, where groups or individuals who have no real stake in elections were used as cannon fodders by selfish individuals and groups to manipulate the courts and frustrate the electoral process against the people’s interests.
MEANWHILE, the APC decried the PDP for alleging that it was planning to rig the election through Tinubu, adding that Edo does not need a faltering Governor Obaseki.
Chairman of APC Media Campaign Council, John Mayaki, stated this while reacting to Nehikhare’s allegations, stressing, “The PDP spokesman may have been disoriented when he ‘fabricated’ the story.”