PDP, APC trade allegations of rigging

Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) have accused each other of planning to collude with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to rig the election.

The chairman, caretaker committee of the PDP, Ahmed Makarfi expressed the fear in Akure yesterday at the take-off of campaign for its candidate, Eyitayo Jegede.

Represented by the National Publicity Secretary, Dayo Adeyeye, he dismissed the court ruling that declared Jimoh Ibrahim of the Ali Modu Sheriff’s faction as a candidate in the election.

The Ekiti State governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose and his Ondo State counterpart, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko also expressed fear that the INEC cannot conduct free, fair and credible polls in the state.

Fayose warned that the state would witness unprecedented violence if the Federal Government attempts to manipulate the election in favour of the APC’s candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu.

The governor said it would be wrong if the people allow the APC to take over the government, adding, “What they did in Edo State would not happen here.”

Fayose said: “What happened in 1983 when the Federal Government used the then Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO) to manipulate elections in the country would not happen in Ondo and Ekiti.

“They did it in other states, but met their waterloo when they tried it in Ekiti and Ondo states. Nigerians cannot wait to vote out APC.”

On Jegede’s candidacy, Makarfi said: “Ibrahim is a jester who is only day-dreaming. Any other person claiming to be the PDP’s candidate is deceiving himself.”

He said Jegede’s candidature fulfilled all the legal and political processes. He added that the INEC, Department of State Services (DSS), police and observers witnessed the primary in Akure where he emerged.

Makarfi explained that the primary that purportedly produced Ibrahim in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital was without the presence of relevant government agencies and commissions.

Mimiko added that Ibrahim is not a member of the PDP and does not have the right to challenge Jegede’s candidature.

He urged the people to resist rigging and be vigilant before and during the election to ensure that their votes count.

Meanwhile, the APC has alleged that the INEC is biased and urged the security agencies to investigate its activities in the state.

The party, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Abayomi Adesanya, said the commission’s officials must be overhauled before the polls.

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