The Peoples Democratic Party on Monday raised the alarm that the Independent National Electoral Commission has been taking directives from the Muhammadu Buhari Presidency and the AllProgressives Congress on how to manipulate the electoral process at various levels.
He alleged that there are fresh plots allegedly by INEC to rig the 2019 general elections for President Muhammadu Buhari and APC.
Speaking during a media briefing in Abuja, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan stated that INEC has collected a list of people that will serve as electoral officials, including ad-hoc staff and returning officers at the polling units, from APC state governors and candidates, across the federation, allegedly on the directives of the Buhari Presidency.
He said, “The PDP alerts Nigerians that INEC has been taking directives from the Buhari Presidency and the APC on how to manipulate our electoral process at various levels.
“To this end, INEC has collected a list of people that will serve as electoral officials, including ad-hoc staff and returning officers at the polling units, from APC state governors and candidates, across the federation, on the directives of the Buhari Presidency.
“The PDP is already privy to how the lists were populated with APC members and agents of the APC candidates, after clearance by the APC leaders in various states.”
Ologbondiyan, who is also the Director, Media and Publicity, PDP Presidential Campaign Organization, said the PDP vehemently rejected the alleged plot by the Buhari Presidency.
According to him, the plot is tailored to ensure institutional manipulation of the electoral process, including accreditation, voting and collation of results at the polling units, which is the base of the elections.
He stated that by following the directive of the APC in such alleged rigging scheme, the INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, has allegedly violated Section 29 (1) of the Electoral Act (as amended). He added that this showed that Mahmood allegedly is in clear deficit of the required political will to conduct a credible, free and fair election.
He said, “This is especially in the light of the boasting by agents of the Buhari Presidency and the APC to give the INEC Chairman what they describe as the “Onnoghen treatment”, and frame him, if he fails to comply with their rigging plans.
“In the light of the foregoing, the PDP demands that INEC, within the next 48 hours, publish the list of all officials and ad-hoc staff that will play any form of role in the election at all levels for verification by stakeholders.”
According to him, any delay or refusal by INEC to publish the list with 48 hours would be a clear acceptance that it has been compromised by the APC. He warned that this could lead to a very serious crisis with very dire consequences as according to him, the PDP will never allow anybody to rig it out in the election.
He urged Yakubu to note that the fate of the nation lies in his hands, adding that it is left to him to decide whether he would end as a national hero or as a villain.
He also called on the international community to place the Yakubu, INEC Directors and Commissioners responsible for this election on their watch list and proceed to impose travel ban on them as well as hold them directly responsible should there be any form of rigging in the February 16, 2019 presidential elections.
Ologbondiyan said, “The PDP directs all its members, teeming supporters and all well-meaning Nigerians across the nation to get ready to vote out President Buhari and protect their votes with all the energy available to them in the defence of our democracy and freedom as a people.