The Peoples Democratic Party has warned the Independent National Electoral Commission and other security agents against aiding the All Progressives Congress in rigging Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
The PDP spokesperson, Olisa Metuh, who addressed a press conference at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, said the warning became necessary because the party “have now become fully aware that the commission, in collaboration with security forces, intends to rig the election as they did in October 31 Borno Senatorial bye-election”.
Mr. Metuh said INEC officials and security operatives were used to swap results in favour of the APC in a pattern that he said, was repeated in the November 21, Kogi governorship election.
“Owing to our respect for the dead and the fact that we are in court over the Kogi election, we refrain from making further comments on obvious infractions by INEC and security forces in the conduct of that election.
“Nevertheless, the National Working Committee of the PDP wishes to declare to INEC and all security agencies that the people of Bayelsa state and our members have been fully rallied in their numbers to combat, head to head, any move by any body or group whatsoever to rig the December 5 governorship election,” Mr. Metuh said.
Mr. Metuh said the atmosphere in Bayelsa is “already charged” and that whoever allows themselves to be used for manipulation “would be doing so at his own peril”.
He said Bayelsans have been made aware of plans of “doctoring of votes by INEC in favour of APC” in Borno and Kogi states and they are now “determined to stop the commission in its trail and ensure that such is not repeated in their state”.
“We are all aware of the marching order handed down to the new INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, at his furtive meeting with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, to rig Kogi and Bayelsa elections in favour of APC, but we wish to let the commission know that attempting so in Bayelsa will have huge repercussions.
“Prof. Yakubu and all INEC officials involved in Bayelsa election must note the fact that the state has unique political characteristics and its resistance level to electoral injustice and fraud comes with dreadful costs.
“INEC should not pretend to be oblivious of the political terrain and volatile nature of Baylelsa state, especially given the recent history of militancy and as such should hold itself responsible should there be any breakdown of law and order in the state,” Mr. Metuh said.
The PDP spokesperson said the party is aware that some “partisan” security operatives have been deployed to Bayelsa state to help rig the election, adding that “no amount of force can subdue our people”.
“Our members and supporters in Bayelsa state are not afraid and cannot be intimidated by guns. They will come out in their numbers to exercise their franchise and to defend their votes fully.
” We therefore caution the military and other security forces to keep to the dictates of their constitutional role of peripheral security in elections, as any infraction on the freedom and rights of our members and supporters will not only be faced with stiff resistance but will also be dragged to the international court for justice.
“We want President Muhammadu Buhari to note that this country cannot afford to aggravate an already charged environment. Any attempt to rig the result of Bayelsa election will be a clear invitation to civil unrest in the region, thereby further heating up the polity,” Mr. Metuh said.
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