The members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State have traded blames over the alleged conspiracy to rig the September 19 governorship election in the state.
The State Chairman of the PDP, Chris Nehikhare accused the APC governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, former national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole; and the National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mustapha Lecky of plotting to manipulate the approaching poll.
Nehikhare made the claim while addressing journalists on Friday, September 4, 2020. The PDP chairman has been reported to have said that Ize-Iyamu has plotted with Lecky to appoint voting officers for the National Youth Service Corps members. He added that the commissioner has been appointing people “with personal ties with Oshiomhole and Ize-Iyamu, to rig the election in favour of the APC.
“The time-honoured tradition, which mandates that all political parties involved in the electioneering process submit names of persons to be used as ad hoc staff, is being abused by Dr. Lecky and his collaborators in the APC. While we have confidence in the INEC as an institution, we are calling on them to rein in Dr. Lecky and his likes, in order to have an election that would uphold the will of the people and one that they can be proud of.
“We hereby call on the INEC leadership to review the process of selecting these officials and request that Dr. Lecky excuse himself from the process as his activities have been revealed to be threatening the integrity of the process, which will taint the outcome of the election,” he said.
However, the State Publicity Secretary of the ruling party, Chris Azebamwan reacted to the accusation and described it as a shade and made-up transaction. “This is a phantom and imaginary transaction. I can tell you authoritatively that the APC has not and cannot delve into the affairs of a statutory body recognised by the electoral law to conduct elections in this country.
“This is another ploy by the PDP and Governor Godwin Obaseki to distract Nigerians and Edo people from the matter at hand. Obaseki is the outgoing governor and he should be preparing his handover notes instead of misleading the people because he is aware of his obvious imminent defeat, so there is no truth in this frivolous allegation,” he stated.
As the verbal war between the two political parties sustains, recall that the APC has previously accused the PDP of trying to use a former INEC staff to win the election.