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PDP alleges plot by military to hijack supplementary polls

The Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP ) has alerted of a clandestine plot by the military in cahoots with officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to hijack the March 23 governorship supplementary elections coming up in six states.

At a media briefing in Abuja on Thursday, the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the alleged plot was hatched at a meeting the Presidency held with security agencies and officials of INEC.

Describing the alleged plot as obnoxious, the PDP said its candidates were already leading and coasting to inevitable victory in all the states where the supplementary elections are billed to hold, vowing that nothing can alter this reality.

INEC has listed Kano, Bauchi, Benue, Plateau and Sokoto states for the supplementary elections.

The PDP cautioned the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) and “agents” of the Presidency to know that Nigerians will never be intimidated.

Ologbondiyan vowed the electorate in the affected states will confront and crush any oppressive force that attempts to defy and subvert their will in the supplementary polls.

The party spokesman said the PDP has full information on every move by the APC to manipulate the electoral process, stressing that not all Nigerians in the present government subscribe to their cruelty, resort to violence as well as suppression of votes.

The PDP alleged that part of the plot was a directive by a top military chief to the INEC chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu not to declare the Rivers State Governor, Mr Nyesom Wike as winner of the March 9 election, even though he won the poll.

INEC had suspended the collation of results of the Rivers State governorship election but had announced on Thursday that the exercise will resume on April 2.

The PDP continued: “Our party is informed of how a top Army officer, at the meeting, directed the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, not to ever declare Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike as winner of the Rivers governorship election, even when it is clear to all that he won the election.

“We also have details how a top military officer, who is from Bauchi state, at the meeting, directed INEC Chairman not to declare our victorious Bauchi state governorship candidate, Sen. Bala Mohammed, as the winner of the Bauchi state governorship election.

“The PDP is also privy to how a Director of one of our security agencies, who was at the meeting, undertook to use his agency to deliver Kano state to the APC.”

The party further alleged it was also decided at the meeting that 30 Department of State Service (DSS) operatives and 300 mobile policemen be deployed to each of the states where the supplementary elections are billed to hold.

According to the PDP, the security operatives to be so deployed have been given standing instruction to take over those states and make effort to ambush the process, seeing that the PDP is bound to win.

“In spite of all, the PDP wants the Buhari Presidency and the APC to come to terms with the fact that their conspiracies will be of no avail as our candidates are marching to unassailable victory with the people.

“The PDP reminds our military that Nigerians will not hesitate to treat individuals in military uniform, who illegally involved in the supplementary election, as fake soldiers. After all, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has declared that uniformed personnel, who helped APC to rig presidential election, were fake.

“It is imperative to state that under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, elections have been turned into warfare against the people but Nigerians will never allow a situation where states are forcefully taken over like spoils of war.

“It is also highly provocative that the INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakubu, is now taking orders from the military to cancel elections and alter results for the APC, instead of asserting the independence and impartiality of INEC under our laws.

“Such annexation of the Prof. Yakubu-led INEC by the Buhari Presidency is the only reason the governorship elections in Bauchi, Plateau, Kano, Sokoto, Adamawa, Benue and Rivers states, which were won by the PDP are declared inconclusive.

“It is obvious that the elections were stalled in these states just because the PDP was in the lead. If the APC had been in the lead as in Ogun, INEC would not have batted an eyelid before pronouncing the results in favor of APC.

“In all, the PDP wants the APC, INEC and their compromised security officials to be informed that the states, where supplementary elections have been scheduled, are home to the PDP and that our votes can never be stolen.

“The PDP cautions INEC to note that the people already know the number of voters with Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in these states and will never accept any padding of the voter register to favour the APC.

“The PDP therefore charges all our members, teeming supporters and all lovers of democracy in these states to remain steadfast in resisting the APC and marching out en-mass to their polling units this Saturday to consolidate their victory against oppressive forces in our land,” the party added.

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