By Ikechukwu Okaforadi, Abuja & Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
Rigging not possible this time – INEC
The All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday alleged that Police Commissioners in the South-west on Wednesday
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, APC National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the Minister of Police Affairs, Abduljelili Adesiyan, who attended the meeting, asked the police commissioners to turn a blind eye to all irregularities and illegality that the PDP may perpetrate during Saturday’s elections.
The party said out of desperation to win the elections at all costs, the PDP has perfected various strategies to rig the elections, especially in the North and in the South-west.
However, when contacted on the possibility of rigging elections across the states, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), dismissed the allegations as baseless, stressing that it is not possible to rig elections in the states.
Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Kayode Idowu, told Peoples Daily that such rumours are not possible given the level of security measures already put in place by the commission, adding that at this critical time, INEC does not respond to partisan allegations.
“It is not possible. How do you think it will happen? Make your own analysis and tell us how it is possible. People will be accredited, and only those who are accredited would be allowed to vote”, he said.
The APC national publicity secretary said one Alhaji Sani Musa, the owner of ACT Technologies, the company that supplied the PVCs and the Card Readers, has been arrested and detained by DSS officials since Tuesday.
He said the agents of the ruling party believe Musa may have the codes for the Card Readers, which is preposterous.
“Alhaji Musa has also been accused of colluding with the APC to rig the elections, which is totally false because we at the APC do not subscribe to rigging under any guise,” he said.
Mohammed noted that the PDP also plans to deploy bandits in uniform to polling units to disperse voters by force, after voter accreditation must have been completed using the Card Reader.
“While that is going on, armed police and soldiers will then come in, ostensibly to chase away the bandits and evacuate INEC officials and voting materials. After evacuating them to ‘safety’, they will then coerce the electoral officials to allow them, security agents that is, to cast all the ballots in the particular unit.
“This strategy, to be used mostly in the PDP controlled states in the North and the South-East, will be repeated in many polling units in many states, because for each state and polling units, there is a calculated percentage which the PDP must win!”
The party also noted a worrisome development in the Federal Capital Territory.
“In at least three locations around the FCT, Jere along airport road, Karu towards Nasarawa and Kubwa road, security agents have mounted road blocks and are stopping North-bound travellers supposedly for a routine search.
The party said “the real reason is to collect PVCs from passengers who have theirs on them.
“Those who refuse to surrender theirs are being molested. This runs against the pledge by the government to ensure free, fair, credible and violence-free elections.”
Speaking further, Kayode noted that the figure and biometrics of those accredited by the INEC officials would automatically be recorded at the commission’s data base at the headquarters.
While expressing confidence that no manipulation would be possible at the state levels, the INEC spokesman also said the processes of the election would be monitored and confirmed by party agents and INEC officials, even as he wondered how the ruling party would altered the transparent processes which the commission had already agreed on with political parties.
Plan to engage in bombing spree In opposition strongholds
He added that plans are afoot to carry out a bombing spree in the major towns and cities in APC-controlled states of Rivers, Lagos, Kano, Imo and Edo, with a view to scaring away voters from the polling units.
“Ekiti and Ondo have also been earmarked for Card Reader disruption. We are therefore using this medium to alert the general public and the international community to these evil machinations.”
Lamenting spates of harassment and Intimidation of APC Members Nationwide, Mohammed said APC members and supporters across the country are being harassed and intimidated across the country, using the security agencies, especially the police.
“Our members and supporters in Sokoto State are under siege from the PDP, using security agencies. Former Sokoto State Governor Attahiru Barafawa has openly threatened to take the state by force.With this open threat about rigging and the use of force, is anyone still in doubt about the plan by the PDP to disrupt the elections in Sokoto State? We asked all election monitors and observers to take note of Barafawa’s open threat.”
He added that police and PDP thugs in Ondo State, acting under instructions from Gov Olusegun Mimiko, have laid a siege on the opposition in the state.
“On Tuesday, Hon. Eniolorunda Omosule, a serving member of the House of Representatives, representing Owo/Ose Federal Constituency, was arrested and detained by the police for no reason other than to keep him away until after elections.
“APC members who were staging a peaceful walk at Ukparamu Ward 1, Bolowo community of Ese-Odo Local Government Area, were attacked with machetes and brutalised by PDP thugs, sponsored by the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, with full police and army protection,” he said.
He called on security agents to stop these harassment and intimidation and to call their men to order, before things degenerate into a free-for-all.
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