The ruling party also accused the PDP of planning to deploy thugs to rig the poll and other subsequent elections and urging well-meaning Nigerians to resist such attempts.

• Your allegations, admission of guilt, party responds

Romanus Ugwu and Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) plans to rig the forthcoming governorship election in Osun.

The ruling party also accused the PDP of planning to deploy thugs to rig the poll and other subsequent elections and urging well-meaning Nigerians to resist such attempts.

In the statement signed by the Acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, the ruling party also accused the PDP of perfecting arrangements to clone Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) for use during the poll.

READ ALSO: Osun Guber: 548,000 PVCs awaiting collection, says INEC

Nabena said: “The PDP on Tuesday vowed to deploy all means to rig all coming elections, starting from Osun. The party also directed all its presidential aspirants to move their political machinery into the state within this period.

“When we learnt about this, we initially doubted its veracity and dismissed it as fake news until further checks confirmed the alleged statement was indeed issued by the PDP spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan.

“The PDP’s statement on Tuesday is particularly worrisome because it coincided with the situation report we received of the cloning Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) for use in the Osun.

“The PDP’s rigging plans is a red flag that requires urgent probe by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and relevant security agencies. We also call on well-meaning Nigerians and civil society organisations to speak out and resist the PDP’s retrogressive plan which threatens our democracy.

READ ALSO: APC to INEC: PDP plans to deploy thugs for Osun governorship election

“Perhaps the PDP needs to be reminded that our democracy is maturing and its crude election rigging methods such as ballot box snatching, announcement of concocted election results and other anomalies are no longer acceptable in our elections.

Related News

“We are confident that the good people of Osun will resist their plan to take over the state by force. We conclude by reminding them of new realities as succinctly captured by President Muhammadu Buhari; unlike undemocratic practices under past administrations, elections under the APC administration are increasingly freer and fairer – a very significant feat in our march for lasting and representative democracy.”

Responding, the PDP said the allegation is an admission by the ruling party that it has been engaged in electoral malpractices in recent times.

Ologbondiyan stated that no threat or smear campaign will make it change its resolve to dismantle the APC’s rigging machinery in future elections.

The opposition party insisted that it would not allow the APC to freely use its alleged rigging template in Ekiti and Edo governorship poll, in next month’s gubernatorial election in Osun.

The PDP maintained that it will set up monitoring teams in all the polling units during the Osun election to end all attempts by the ruling party to buy votes or snatch ballot boxes, as was allegedly the case in Ekiti.

“No amount of propaganda and distortion of our statement will deter the PDP from its stand to confront and resist the APC, head to head and ensure that only the will of the people prevail.

“It is a settled fact that though truth can be suppressed for a season, it will always have a way of showing itself to the light. The APC, in its own statement, has owned up to electoral contrivances and openly admitted that it blatantly rigged last Saturday’s National Assembly bye-election where results were altered in its favour, ballot boxes were snatched, Nigerians were harassed, intimidated and even killed.

“The APC in its own words alluded to crude election rigging methods such as ballot snatching and announcement of concocted election results which it confirmed as recently displayed during last weekend bye-election in Kogi state, where it was illegally declared winner.

“We are therefore happy that having called them out, the APC leaders, apart from admitting their guilt of electoral malfeasance, have demanded for a probe into our move to dismantle their rigging machine. We welcome this demand and further request that the probe should be done in the open, so that we can expose APC’s rigging machine for the world to see.

READ ALSO: Osun guber: INEC closes nomination, screens 48 political parties

“Such a probe will also provide the PDP our long awaited opportunity to expose the compromised INEC officials, security agents and agencies as well as fake observers used by the APC to rig elections. The PDP will show evidence of how the APC deployed thugs to unleash violence; used security forces to intimidate, arrest and detain PDP supporters; the cancellation and alteration of results where PDP won, allocation of fake results for the APC and outright declaration
of concocted results to suit the whims of APC. The PDP has all the facts and will never allow them to play out again,” Ologbondiyan said.