The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) yesterday alleged that they had unearthed a plot by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to manipulate the March 9 governorship and state legislative assembly polls 24 states in its favour.
Spokesman for APC, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan said the PDP based its allegation on the heavy deployment of security forces and armed thugs into PDP strongholds, particularly the Niger Delta region, with a view to suppressing voters and manipulating the electoral process in favour of the APC
“As a result, the APC is desperate to unleash violence in oil-rich Akwa-Ibom, Rivers, Cross River, Delta, Bayelsa, Abia, as well as Benue, Taraba, Gombe, Sokoto, Enugu, Ebonyi, Kwara, but these states and all other strongholds of the PDP, spanning across our nation, remain impregnable.”
He said the party had obtained detailed information on various secret locations in Akwa-Ibom State, including hotels and other camps, where the APC quartered thugs ahead of Saturday’s elections.
“We note that the police have refused to evacuate these thugs; but let it be known that the people of Akwa Ibom State will never allow them to operate.”
“Since the robbery of the PDP’s presidential mandate, which Nigerians are determined to reclaim at the tribunal, the APC has been jittery over the escalated public support for the PDP not only to retain our states but also to ensure a sweeping victory for PDP in APC states across the country.
“The PDP therefore cautions the APC as well as its compromised INEC and security officials to bear in mind that Akwa-Ibom and all Niger Delta states are incontrovertible PDP strongholds; that the APC do not have any genuine followership in these states and that anybody attempting or supporting any forceful takeover of any PDP stronghold should be aware that he or she is doing so at his or her own peril,” he said.
Ologbondiyan advised the vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and APC national chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, to jettison the idea of using thugs to muscle the Akwa Ibom governorship and state assembly elections saying the people had been fully rallied for a firm resistance.
He recalled how Osinbajo, on Tuesday, at a town hall meeting in Uyo boasted that he and Oshiomhole would ensure that the APC will never be defeated and how thugs, loaded in over 50 buses, who confessed to have been contracted by Oshiomhole, were later intercepted on their way from Edo State to Akwa Ibom to cause mayhem during Saturday’s election.
Similarly, the spokesman for CUPP, Mr. Ikenga Ugochinyere alleged that from the signal intercepted, Nasarawa, Akwa Ibom, Sokoto, Anambra, Rivers, Taraba, Abia, Gombe and Delta States would be flooded with mobile police officers from various parts of the country specifically for the purpose of helping the APC rig the elections and return the states to the APC.
“The listed states are controlled by the PDP except Nasarawa, which the PDP is also poised to reclaim from the APC.
“From the signal, the entire units of MOPOL 3 Enugu, 12 Minna, 21 FCT, 25 Azumini/Iwukem, and 45 FHQ Abuja are to move to Nasarawa State.
“MOPOL 22 Ikeja, 49 Epe and 23 FHQ Annex Lagos are all moving to help the APC rig Sokoto State.
“Furthermore, Mopol 2 Keffi Street Lagos, 5 Benin, 17 Akure and 20 Ikeja are to relocate to Akwa Ibom to be under the command of the cousin of Senator Godswill Akpabio who is the SARS Commander in Akwa Ibom State to rig elections in the state.
“Gombe State will receive their own rigging machine from MOPOL 52 Chalawa and 58 Lafia, while the rigging squads to Abia State are to be moved from MOPOL 29 Awka, 31 Asaba and 33 Ado Ekiti.
“Delta State will be for MOPOL 19 Port Harcourt and 55 Aba, while Anambra State will be militarised by MOPOL 28 Umuahia, 51 Oghara and 63 Ikorodu.
“The APC has resolved that polls will be shifted or disrupted in Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Enugu, Ebonyi, Benue and Taraba states so that military might will also be concentrated on those states on the rescheduled dates.”
“Zamfara, Borno, Yobe, which until a couple of days ago witnessed attacks and killings, did not get extra deployment of security.
“Likewise, Kaduna, Katsina, and Plateau States where killings and reprisal killings have occurred since the completion of the presidential polls did not merit extra security deployment rather hitherto peaceful states with no reported threats are getting massive security deployments,” he said.
The CUPP spokesman further alleged that pressure was being mounted on the INEC to redeploy the Akwa Ibom State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Mike Igini, despite a court order restraining the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu from doing so.