By Akanimo Sampson
Nigeria’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will have to work rxtra hard to rescue its integrity from the mud.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is alleging that the commission is working in league with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to subvert the popular will of the citizenry in next year’s polls.
PDP through their Spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, is warning that INEC under Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, by playing the alleged President Muhammadu Buhari/APC rigging script, is running on a collision course with the people.
In a media briefing in Abuja, the party said, ‘’we calling to further alert Nigerians and the
international community of the frenzied desperation of the Buhari Presidency and the APC to rig the 2019 presidential election and foist Buhari back to office against the desires and wishes of majority of Nigerians.
‘’Having realised that there is no way they can win in a credible, free and fair presidential election, the Buhari Presidency and the APC, in cahoots with INEC, have been engaged in series of provocative machinations aimed to corrupt the electoral process, trigger violent dissentions and ultimately derail our democratic process.
‘’On Thursday, the PDP vehemently rejected the plots by INEC and the Presidency to rig the election by creating illegal polling centers in Chad and Niger Republic, under the guise of ‘special arrangement’ for displaced Nigerians in those countries to participate in the Presidential election.
‘’The PDP had exposed the plot to use such illegal centers for allocation of fictitious votes, massive ballot stuffing, voting by aliens, underage and unregistered persons to pull millions of fictitious votes in favour President Buhari.
‘’Having been busted, INEC beat a retreat only to invent a fresh ruse by announcing that the “special arrangement” would only be for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) within the shores of Nigeria, while secretly retaining the illegal offshore voting plot.
‘’Intelligence available to the PDP, including those from our sources that are privy to clandestine meetings between the Presidency and INEC, shows that instead of the open offshore voting centers, the Buhari Presidency had directed INEC to circumvent the checks by secretly opening illegal voting centers at the desert fringes and remote border lines with Chad and Niger, and use them to achieve its original plans to rig the Presidential election.
‘’Part of the plot is to use these illegal remote centers, which will not have functional Smart Card Readers, to allow unchecked voting by aliens, and underage persons as well as provide the unlimited latitude for criminal allocation of fictitious votes for President Buhari and his party, the APC.
‘’The PDP has also been made aware of instruction to compromised security personnel operating in these areas to provide official cover for this nefarious act being plotted by the Buhari Presidency and INEC.
‘’It is instructive to inform Nigerians that, as part of the Buhari Presidency’s rigging plot, INEC has been instructed to deploy defective Smart Card Readers to IDP camps, particularly in some
strategic northern states, to pave way for direct manipulations, including alteration of voter register and voting by unregistered persons, particularly, with the foreclosure of incident forms for manual accreditation.
‘’This grand plot to rig is the essential reason President Buhari has deliberately refused to sign the amendments to the Electoral Act, which among other things checked manual manipulation by insisting on the use of card readers for biometric accreditation of voters and elimination of over-voting.
‘’It is clear that the Buhari Presidency is desperate to re-enact the same rigging scenario, which, in 2015, allowed 13.5 million unauthorized persons to participate in the Presidential election, paving the way for the illegal allocation of millions of fictitious votes to President
Buhari and we urge Nigerians to unite in condemnation of this ignoble scheme.
‘’The PDP therefore rejects, as completely deceptive, the untenable assurances and lip service by this overtly compromised INEC that it can deliver a credible election without an across-the-board biometric accreditation of voters and the use incidence form.
‘’Our party completely rejects the plan by INEC to substitute biometric accreditation with manual verification on self-recognition and thumbprint on the voters register. Such primitive method of accreditation only opens the way for unlimited rigging, multiple, underage and alien voting, as well as ballot stuffing which will afford President Buhari and the APC to manipulate themselves back to power against the wish of majority of Nigerians.
‘’The PDP, therefore in very unambiguous term, cautions INEC under Mahmood Yakubu not to be used to set our nation on fire but to immediately retrace its steps and untangle itself from the wicked scheme of the APC as Nigerians will never allow them to have their way. For the purposes of emphasis, the PDP rejects all forms of fraudulent ‘special arrangements’ tailored to rig this election. Our party insists that elections must only hold in statutorily designated polling centers across our country.
‘’The PDP and indeed, Nigerians are not ready to accept any fabricated result from any illegal polling center created to assist President Buhari to rig the election. This is essentially because all IDP camps in our country fall within the catchment area of an already delineated polling unit. Therefore any individual who is displaced from his original area of registration is at liberty to have his registration transferred to an exiting statutory polling center near his or her IDP camp of residence. This is a provision that is clear to all, including the Chairman of INEC, Prof.
‘’The whole world has now seen that the only reason President Buhari has refused to sign the Electoral Act is because he knows that there is no way he can win in a peaceful, credible, free and fair election. President Buhari is not ready for elections. His only hope in contesting
the election is getting INEC and security forces to assist him and the APC to rig.
‘’For PDP, our party and presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, are ready for the election but we caution INEC under Yakubu to note that by playing the Buhari/APC rigging script, it is running on collision course with the people.This anti-democratic tendency may attract dire consequences as Nigerians are now, more than ever before, ready, willing and resolute to take back their country from the incompetent, divisive and arrogantly corrupt Buhari administration, come 2019. Enough is Enough!’’