The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, says the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC government has pulled in partisan military operatives to assist it in rigging Saturday’s Kogi state governorship election, “instead of allowing the forces to concentrate on their statutory role of providing peripheral security during elections”.
The party said “intelligence” information available to it shows that some compromised military personnel led by a senior officer of the rank of a Colonel have been detailed by the Presidency to carry out specific assignments in support of APC candidate in the election.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, in a statement on Friday, said the development was not only a recipe to civil disorder but also a clear invitation to total disruption of free and fair polls in the state if not immediately checked.
Mr. Metuh said, “Available intelligence shows that the deployment to Kogi state, of the Army Colonel, who is a known APC sympathizer is part of the fallout of last week’s secret meeting coordinated by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), where orders were issued to clamp-down on PDP members and supporters to pave way for some pliable INEC officials to manipulate the election in favour of the APC.
“Compromised troops have already been detailed to Dekina Local Government Area, the largest PDP stronghold in the state and home of Governor Idris Wada, where they have been instructed to create panic, strong-arm PDP supporters, frighten and scare away voters, ostensibly to deprive the our party of its expected large votes from the area.
“We are also aware of how the head of Security of APC candidate’s Campaign Organization, a retired Army General, is coordinating the movement of partisan security operatives into other key local governments, including Igalamela, Ofu, Ankpa and Idah, to harass and frighten PDP supporters and provide a leeway for the APC to manipulate the election.
“The PDP also has information of the copious involvement of a retired police officer, who is working with some men of the Directorate of Security Services (DSS) in providing illegal arms, vehicles and cover for APC thugs who have been positioned to attack PDP supporters during the election.
“We find it absolutely shocking that President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC government, a huge beneficiary of free, fair and credible election conducted by the PDP, would so early in the day, seek to corrupt the electoral system and willfully attempt to subvert the will of the people.
“The PDP however notes that no amount of force and intimidation can bend the will of the Kogi people from appropriately exercising their franchise and using every means within the law to protect their mandate.
“While we charge our members and the entire people of Kogi state to remain vigilant and continue to assert their constitutional rights and liberty, we also call on the security forces to note that their duty is primarily to the nation and its citizens, and as such must ensure that they do not become tools in the hands of anti-democratic forces seeking to truncate our democracy.”
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