As campaigns for the much-awaited governorship election in Edo State wind down, the two major contenders, the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progress Congress, have engaged themselves in a war of words to win sympathies and advantage.
While the postponement of the election from September 10 to September 28 has whittled down campaigns zeal from both ends, the firing lines of allegations have been sustained.
On Tuesday, the PDP addressed a press conference, alleging that the APC was conniving with the Independent National Electoral Commission to rig Wednesday’s election.
The party’s image maker, Chris Nehikhare, told journalists in Benin that a plot to compromise electoral officers from the different local government areas had been uncovered.
“The PDP will resist any attempt by the ruling party to subvert the will of the people by any engagement in the substitution of electoral materials,” Mr. Nehikhare said.
He warned that nobody should act in any way that would precipitate anarchy.
The APC replied promptly, saying the opposition was crying out knowing that it had lost the election.
“PDP is saying this out of panic,” APC Publicity Secretary, Godwin Erhahon, said.
“We in the APC don’t believe in rigging. We have done more than enough to convince the people to vote for us.”
He challenged the PDD to come out with concrete evidence if it was sure there were plots to rig the election.
“Everybody should go and work. We are working hard to ensure the election is peaceful,” Mr. Erhahon said.
The APC had earlier accused the PDP of hiring the services of thousands of militants to cause mayhem during the election.
The allegation has been denied by the opposition, saying the ruling party was out to use it as an excuse to harass its supporters, using security operatives.