By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—EDO State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in collusion with the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state have perfected what it called “evil plans” to sabotage the electoral process in some local government areas in the state, during the February 16 elections.
State Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Chris Nehikhare, who raised the alarm at a briefing in Benin yesterday, also alleged that there were plans by security agents to arrest some PDP leaders in the state with a view to keeping them out of circulation until after the elections.
Voting in progress at Oza Primary School Igbesawnma Benin city. Photo: Citizen Wolbum
He also alleged that Edo State Government had perfected plans to use its security outfit, Wabaizigzan, to monitor the election, saying the Police, Nigeria Army and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSDC, have enough men and material to provide security during the election.
His words: “We have been reliably informed that voting will be postponed to a later day due to ‘logistics problems,’ in Orhionmwon/Uhunmwode, Ovia, Esan North-East/Esan South-East, Akoko-Edo and Etsako federal constituencies.
“The aim is to have these constituencies as standalone elections where the Federal Government can unleash their agents of intimidation and harassment to full effect. The plan is barbaric, evil, a recipe for chaos and unprecedented people’s revolt and reaction.
“We use this medium to advise INEC to perish the thought. Edo people will not accept, condone or tolerate any display or exhibition of ‘deliberate incompetence,’ as excuse to sabotage the general election.”
However, Edo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Mr. Emmanuel Alex-Hart, dismissed the allegations, adding that INEC had no plan to postpone elections in some local government areas of the state.
He told journalists that elections would be held simultaneously across the state on dates scheduled by INEC.
He added that if there was any postponement, the directive would be from its national headquarters and not from any individual.