Supplementary Elections: PDP fumes as INEC holds crucial security meeting with agencies

PDP Chairman, Uche Secondus
PDP Chairman, Uche Secondus

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that there was a clandestine security meeting by the presidency with certain top officials of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to hijack the upcoming supplementary elections.

The party made this known in a press conference by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Thursday at the party secretariat.

INEC later confirmed that the meeting held but said it was a routine one and the PDP had nothing to be worried about.

In his briefing, Mr Ologbondiyan stated that his party is already leading and “coasting to inevitable victory in all the affected states and nothing can alter this reality.”

INEC had declared elections in six states inconclusive following cancellation of results in some polling units in the states.

The commission subsequently fixed March 23 for supplementary elections in the states: Adamawa, Benue, Sokoto, Plateau, Kano and Bauchi.

However, the election in Adamawa was postponed indefinitely following a court order.

Before the elections were declared inconclusive, the PDP was leading in five of the states while the APC was leading in Plateau.

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The opposition party now claims there is a security plot to stop it’s impending victory.

“The PDP has full information on every move by the APC to manipulate the electoral process as not all Nigerians in their government subscribe to their cruelty, resort to violence as well as suppression of votes,” Mr Ologbondiyan said.

“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 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.”

Mr Ologbondiyan alleged that the security meeting has directed the deployment of 30 State Security Service (SSS) personnel and 300 mobile policemen to each of the states where supplementary elections have been scheduled with a standing instruction to take over the respective states and make effort to ambush the process.

“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 opposition party said Nigerians would not hesitate to treat individuals in military uniform, who illegally involve 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 favour of APC.”

Mr Ologbondiyan said he 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 their 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.”

INEC Speaks

Presidential spokespersons, Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, did not respond to calls and text messages sent to their lines.

However, Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi dismissed the allegations, saying the meeting was regular.

“There was no such thing as clandestine security meeting.” He said.

“The INEC Chairman and Commisssion members met with representatives of the security agencies under the aegis of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee On Election Security (ICCES) last Thursday at the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).”

“There is nothing unusual about this and it is not the first time. The ICCES meeting takes place quarterly or as the need arises.”

He said while the meeting usually holds at the INEC headquarters with the NSA, Inspector General of Police and other security chiefs attending, it can also hold at the NSA’s office or any other venue mutually agreed upon.

“The main topic was how to secure the environment in all locations where the upcoming supplementary elections will hold. The PDP need not entertain any fear. There was no secret deal or hatched plan to hijack the elections at the meeting.”

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