The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State has raised alarm over what it called an alleged plot by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to unleash violence and cause confusion in the state during the governorship election.
The party, which is holding power in the state, claims that the plan would pave way for the opposition to rig the governorship election scheduled for September 10.
A statement by the party said “no less than 500 militants from Delta are being mobilised to critical areas of Edo State to carry out this evil plan using the waterways.
“The primary targets are Edo-North using the River Niger to access areas around Agenebode; Edo-South, via the Osse River; and Edo Central, via Ilushi River”.
Citing internal sources within the PDP, the APC also alleged that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members recruited by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to participate in the conduct of the elections were being compromised by the PDP with the lure of huge financial rewards should they agree to act out their script to rig the elections.
“In their desperation to seize power at all cost, they have not only perfected plans to usurp the distribution of the Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) across the state but have already started acting it out as we have received reports that some PVCs meant for certain Local Government Areas have been hijacked by PDP thugs.
“We want to use this medium to call on the security agencies in the state, particularly the Nigerian Police Force, to investigate the matter expeditiously and immediately put in place measures to forestall their wicked plans, and maintain peace and order throughout this electioneering period.
“We also call on INEC to carry out due diligence on all its ad-hoc staff and monitor them closely so that those who have been compromised will not be allowed to carry out the PDP’s devious plans,” the statement read.
In his reaction to the alleged plot, the APC flagbearer, Godwin Obaseki, said: “We, in the APC, are not totally surprised by this distasteful development as the PDP is reputed for crude ‘do-or-die’ politics.
“We, however, want to state categorically that we will not be intimidated by their antics, and we will continue to push, through every legitimate means, our message of hope and prosperity.
“We are also confident that the good people of Edo State, having experienced unprecedented development and transformation of the state under the leadership of Comrade Adams Oshiomole of the APC, will vehemently resist any attempt by the PDP to halt the remarkable progress we have made, and lead us back to the dark days when our people watched helplessly as a few thieving politicians pillaged our commonwealth and nearly destroyed our state”.
Amidst uncertainty on the September 10 exercise due to recommendations for postponement by security operatives, Obaseki urged his supporters to be vigilant, and continue to conduct themselves peacefully as law-abiding citizens of Edo State.
Meanwhile the PDP has described the call for postponement of the election as shocking and a bizarre.
The party responded to the advice by security agencies in a statement by its spokesman, Dayo Adeyeye, on Wednesday.
After the advice was issued, the INEC said it had not received any official document advising it to shift the election and insisted that it would go ahead with the election as scheduled.