By Tunde Opalana
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised alarm over plots by certain interests allegedly recruited by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to use a frivolous lawsuit to scuttle Saturday’s Edo state governorship election, following APC’s realisation that there is no way it can win in the election, according to findings by Daily Times.
The PDP revealed that the said interests, who are masquerading through certain political groups, are seeking to blackmail the judiciary and stampede the court to violate the clear provisions of the Electoral Act and illegally halt the Edo election.
The party also said the fire outbreak that destroyed 5,141 card readers in the Ondo state INEC office was a grand plot to rig the governorship election for the APC.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Sunday, PDP National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan said Nigerians are already aware that section 87(10) (11) of the Electoral Act clearly prohibits the courts from restraining the conduct of party primaries and general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He said this section of the Electoral Act has 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 interest of the people.
“It is therefore clear that the aim of the APC is to use the political groups to drag in the judiciary, trigger constitutional crisis in Edo state, the Niger Delta region and the nation at large and blame it on the court.
“The APC’s calculation is a reenactment of a similar judicial quagmire that led to the scuttling of the 1993 general election, a development that led to a serious national crisis that almost destroyed the corporate existence of our country.
“The PDP stands with the people of Edo state in condemning this plot by the APC to derail the democratic order, scuttle the governorship election, create an emergency situation, forcefully seize power and foist an undemocratic and oppressive regime in Edo state.
“Similarly, our Party has been informed of the drafting of soldiers to the residence of the sacked former national chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in GRA Benin and Iyamho.
“Our Party holds that it is indecorous, shameful and sinful on the part of the APC and the Buhari Presidency to leave the flanks of our people in Katsina, Kaduna, Benue, Yobe, Adamawa, Sokoto, Kogi open to bandits while Soldiers are guarding the residence of suspended Oshiomhole just to enable him to perpetrate electoral heist.
“Not even on the face of our current insecurity should such an impudent and inconsiderate action be considered.
“We, therefore, call on President Mohammadu Buhari, as the Commander-in-Chief to immediately withdraw the troops from Oshiomhole”s residence and deploy them to their constitutional duty post in the interest of our nation.”
The PDP held that the APC is responsible for the burning of the head office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Akure, Ondo State.
It claimed that available information indicated that the heinous act was perpetrated by agents of the APC as part of plots by its leaders in the state to destroy INEC sensitive equipment so as to frustrate the conduct of credible, free, and fair governorship election in the state.
The party said “it is clear that the APC has been in extreme fear over the soaring popularity of the PDP governorship candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, across the state, for which the APC has resorted to violence and underhand tactics, particularly after realizing that there is no way its candidate, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, who has failed the people can win in a transparent, free and fair election on October 10.
“Our party invites Nigerians to note that that the attack on the Ondo INEC office comes after, self-confessed APC militant and former APC in the state, Isaac Kekemeke, boasted that the APC will use violence to rig the October 10 election and that Governor Akeredolu was behind the violent political attacks rocking the state.
“Kekemeke had also boasted of APC’s plans to import armed thugs and militants to unleash mayhem in the state and disrupt a peaceful electoral process.
It is therefore not by happenstance that the fire occurred in no other place than the facility where sensitive materials, such as card readers were stored, leading to the destruction of not less than 5141 card readers meant for the election were destroyed.
“Nigerians can recall that failure by security agencies to pull in individuals like Kekemeke and other APC hoodlums for questioning emboldened such brazen attack on INEC head office”.