The verbal war between the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Edo State ahead of the September 19, governorship election continued, yesterday, as the APC accused the PDP and its governorship candidate, Governor Godwin Obaseki of engaging the services of a former senior staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Mr. Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, to rig the election.
APC said the plot by the PDP was as a result of the failure of the party and Obaseki to convince the people on why they should vote for them.
Chairman of the APC Media Campaign Council, Mr. John Mayaki, in a statement, said Osaze-Uzzi is a first cousin of Obaseki and that he has been engaged as a private consultant “in a plot to trade-sensitive inside information on the results collation process of the electoral body with the PDP in exchange for unnamed benefits.”
Mayaki said: “As an upgrade to the server scam that failed the PDP in the 2019 general elections because it ignorantly went with the fraud without insight on the result collation process of INEC, the party of tax-collectors, having lost all hopes of winning the Edo election in a fair contest, are concluding plans on another rigging strategy with the recent secret conscription of one Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi.
”Mr. Osaze-Uzzi, Obaseki’s first cousin, who served for many years at INEC and had to be forced out of commission despite his stalling tactics to stay put until the conclusion of the election which he had planned to manipulate by offering sensitive inside information to his cousin, has now fully joined the Obaseki campaign, though secretly as a private consultant.
”His mandate, and those of others assigned to serve as his aides in the secret location where has been lodged, is to develop strategies and tactics for the party on how to substitute results obtained at the polls with fake, pre-written ballots and a corresponding reflection of the electoral fraud in any electronic transfer, using his experience at the Commission.”
But the Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chris Nehikhare, described the accusation as laughable and queried if “the governorship election is APC’s primary where one man writes results?”
Nehikhare said: “Is the Edo Government House now INEC office? How on earth can a state government that has no control over INEC, police, DSS, NSCDC or military, influence election results? We are, however, not surprised by the allegation because such was the practice when Adams Oshiomhole held sway as governor. Edo people can still recollect how that same government through Edo State Independent Electoral Commission, EDSIEC, announced election results when collation was still ongoing. Indeed, Edo people and Nigerians know the party that is plotting to rig the election.
They watched the video of Adams Oshiomhole allegedly talking about arresting some people. The PDP also raised an alarm over the redeployment of a compromised NSCDC commandant to Edo State for the purpose of the election. We shall continue to expose their evil plots as time goes on.”