Six days to the September 19 governorship election in Edo State, the end seems not to be in sight as regards allegations and counter-allegations of attempts by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the rival All Progressives Congress (APC) to perpetrate violence and rig the polls.
The latest is from the Edo State PDP Campaign Council which weekend raised an alarm of a plot by the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and some top APC chieftains in Edo State to rig and buy votes during the September 19 governorship election with a whopping N300 million sourced from local councils in Lagos State.
In a counter-accusation, Prince John Mayaki, the Chairman, Edo State APC Media Campaign Council accused Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki of disbursing N1.7 million each to Electoral Officers across the 18 local government areas of the state on Friday for the purpose of rigging the election.
Mr Chris Nehikhare, the chairman publicity and media committee of PDP said that going by intelligence report, local councils in Lagos State have been mandated to contribute N15 million each to finance the rigging plan.
He charged: “We are once again drawing the attention of the world and all lovers of democracy to the glaring fact that the APC is attempting to rig the Edo 2020 governorship election scheduled for Saturday, September 19, 2020, by mobilising N300 million from Lagos State local councils, each council contributing N15 million to execute the sinister plan.”
The spokesman lamented that it was regrettable and disturbing that at a time when Lagosians are suffering from the vagaries of biting economic hardship superintended by the APC government’s policies, the party is deploying Lagos State’s resources to subvert the will of Edo People.”
He said it was shameful that the APC is propagating the template of vote-buying and rigging that should best be left to the relics of Nigeria’s political history, noting that the resort to this despicable tactic is because the party is certain of defeat at the poll and is only trying to save face.
The people have been unanimous in their support for the candidate of the PDP and no matter the underhand tactic of the APC, the will of the people must surely prevail.”
He queried the interest of Tinubu in the outcome of the poll in Edo, noting that the people are resolute in truncating the reign of godfathers in the state. “Edo is not Lagos. Edo people are proud and dignified people and would not surrender their freedom and free will to men who want to act god over their affairs. So Tinubu can keep his money in Lagos,” he said.
Mayaki disclosed that the APC has received “veritable details of how Governor Obaseki spent over N100m for the purchase of arms while his deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu took the contract for the supply and distribution to thugs.
The APC image maker said that last Friday, Governor Obaseki directed the 18 Local Government Chairmen to give N1.7m to Electoral Officials (EOs) in their domains through the councils’ treasurer under the sub-head of support for elections logistics.
Mayaki said: “The disbursement was done on Friday and confirmed our earlier revelation that Governor Obaseki has a N5 billion budget earmarked for election rigging and vote-buying. We also have veritable details of how Governor Godwin Obaseki spent over N100m for the purchase of arms. His deputy, Philip Shaibu, took the contract for the supply and distribution to thugs.”