Both parties say they have uncovered plans by the Kogi electoral body to rig the forth coming local government elections.
The leadership of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, said they have uncovered plans by Kogi Independent Electoral Commission, KOSIEC, to disenfranchise electorate in eight local government areas in the May 4 council elections.
Addressing a joint news conference in Lokoja on Tuesday, ACN chieftain and former Governor of Kogi State, Abubakar Audu, alleged that the commission had concluded plans to rig the elections.
Mr. Audu alleged there was a reliable information from security reports that KOSIEC planned to provide inadequate electoral materials in the councils.
According to him, the local government areas are Ofu, Olamaboro, Dekina, Ijumu, Kogi-KK, Lokoja, Idah and Adavi.
The former governor said the council areas were the strongholds of the two political parties because they had overwhelming followership there.
“The state government should call the commission to order; if this plan is nurtured to maturation, it is capable of undermining the election process. There is no citizen of this state that will like to be disenfranchised or be robbed of his civil rights,” he said.
“I want you to inform the government that it will not be in the best interest of the state and its citizenry to embark on such illegality.
“We don’t lend credence to speculations but when there is an iota of truth in it as in this case, we cannot treat it with levity.”
The ACN Chairman in the state, Haddy Ametuo, said the two political parties had lost confidence in the state electoral body due to “double standards”.
He said the commission had turned its electoral guidelines upside down.
He urged the commission to withdraw its announcement that the election results would not be announced at polling units and collation centres but at their headquarters in Lokoja.
The Chairman of CPC in the state, Mohammed Mabo-Kassim, said he expected the commission to work within the ambit of the local government electoral law of 2004.
“I am surprised to find out that the electoral commission is working at variance with the law, ” he said.
Reacting to the allegations, the state Electoral Commissioner in charge of Information and Public Affairs, Adejoh Idachaba, denied any plot to disenfranchise the electorate in any local government.
The commissioner urged the two political parties to go back to the drawing board and work hard to win their elections.
He said that the commission was determined to conduct free and fair elections.
“We will not short-change anybody,” he said.