By Danladi Alhassan
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of planning to manipulate the electoral processes in Bauchi, Sokoto and Adamawa states, ahead of supplementary governorship elections holding on Saturday in favour of the All Progressives Congress ( APC).
Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP National Publicity Secretary, at a press conference in Abuja, said INEC umpire was yet to complete the collation of results to determine the margin of lead in the governorship election, yet it is proceeding to conduct a supplementary election in Bauchi.
“This anomaly being created by INEC is directly geared to cause confusion and muddle-up the Bauchi electoral process and pave the way for allocation of fictitious votes to the APC.
“The PDP has reports of how the INEC leadership connived with the APC to delay the collation of results from Tafawa Balewa Local government, then stampede the courts to halt the process in an attempt to ambush the March 23 Supplementary election.
“This informs why INEC hurriedly and shamelessly jettisoned its statutory independence and implemented the unconstitutional ex-parte order to halt the collation of results in Bauchi and Adamawa states, even before the order was enrolled and served on it.
“The PDP cautions INEC to note that it already has the figures of votes delivered at the polling units. We also have figure of voters with PVCs in the areas where INEC plans to conduct supplementary elections. Therefore any attempt by INEC and the APC to pad the results to favor the APC will be firmly resisted.
“The PDP is in a comfortable lead in Bauchi and nothing can change this reality, irrespective of supplementary election, in which we are also set to win,” he said.
Ologbondiyan alleged that PDP has been informed of how In Adamawa, “the APC and INEC are conniving to cause confusion and alter the figures of already collated results of the governorship election won by the PDP.
He said the situation has become so pathetic that the Adamawa Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), is yet to officially state the commission’s position on whether the supplementary election will hold or not.”
“In Sokoto State, the PDP alerts Nigerians of the invasion of the state by heavily armed thugs imported by the APC from neighboring states of Kano and Zamfara to unleash violence, cause confusion and help the APC to rig the supplementary governorship election, under official protection of compromised security agencies.
“However, the PDP wants INEC, the APC, their thugs and the compromised security personnel to note that the people of Sokoto state are determined to assert themselves in this election and anybody attempting to subvert their will would be doing so at his or her own risk.
“In Rivers state, our party holds that the shifting of the collation of results by INEC to April 2-5, 2019, without providing any reason, is a calculated attempt to create room for their partners, the APC, to engage in judicial manipulations or abracadabra to scuttle the election already won by the PDP.
“The PDP cautions that such shenanigan by INEC is highly provocative, especially as the people of Rivers state are already aware of all the results delivered from the polling units, which puts the PDP in clear lead. Any alteration will spell doom for our democracy given the place Rivers State occupies in our national economy.
“Furthermore, the PDP charges the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure strict adherence to the use of card readers in all the Supplementary elections.
“Reports abound of how INEC jettisoned the card readers in previous elections, particularly in certain states earmarked for rigging for the APC, thereby leading to all manners of electoral manipulations. This must not be allowed in the supplementary polls,” PDP spokesman said.
By Danladi Alhassan