By Tunde Opalana
Ahead of the September 19 governorship election in Edo state, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised the alarm that a national commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mustapha Muhammed Lekky is conniving with the All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig the election, according to findings by Daily Times.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, at an interactive session with journalists at PDP sectariat, Abuja on Thursday challenged INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu to speak out on the allegation to free the electoral umpire from alleged complicity.
He said the party had reliable information that the INEC national commissioner has been contacted by the immediate past national chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and party’s governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize – Iyamu to assist APC in perpetrating electoral infractions.
Ologbondiyan who also doubles as member of the PDP National Campaign Council for Edo state said plans have been concluded and agreed into by Mustapha Lekky to replace names of collation officers and INEC ad – hoc staff with those of APC loyalists.
According to the party spokesperson, there are tip off that INEC is working with APC to use uncloned card readers to rig election for APC.
He said “our party challenges INEC to speak on the allegation that one of its national commissioners, Mustapha Muhammed Lekky is being used by Oshiomhole and APC candidate, Ize – Iyamu to doctor lists of collation officers and INEC ad – hoc staff to be engaged in falsification of results and rigging of the Edo election.
“The INEC national chairman, Prof. Yakubu cannot keep silent, he must speak up on these allegations.
“INEC will need to convince Edo voters that it is neutral and that these allegations are not true”.
The PDP, therefore called on critical stakeholders in the coming elections, especially electoral umpire and security agencies to ensure they play unbiased role in ensuring free, fair and credible elections in Edo, Ondo and October 31 concurrent legislative bye – elections.
Ologbondiyan expressed confidence that PDP candidate, Godwin Obaseki will win the election having performed creditably well in his expiring first term to the satisfaction of the Edo people who are willing to re – elect him.
He said authentic leaders if APC in Edo are working with Obaseki to ensure his return to complete the many good developmemtal projects he had started.
“APC members know that our candidate, Governor Godwin Obaseki will defeat Osagie Ize – Iyamu in a manner that APC will not be able to approach election tribunal”, he said.