The Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organisation (PCO) has condemned an alleged plot by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Muhammadu Buhari’s presidency to rig the 2019 general elections by creating illegal polling centres in Chad and Niger Republic.
The PCO described the alleged plot by INEC and President Buhari to secretly create polling centres outside the shores of the nation, in total violation of the 1999 constitution (as amended), as inexcusably criminal.
The group said the act had exposed part of the plot to corrupt the electoral system and massively rig for President Buhari.
The PCO, in a statement by its Director, Media and Publicity, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Thursday, said: “President Buhari, INEC and all Nigerians know that there are no provisions for Diaspora voting under our system.
“By the extant laws guiding elections in Nigeria, it is very clear who is eligible to vote, as well as the centres statutorily designated for elections. There is no provision for any special arrangement whatsoever.
“It is, therefore, reprehensible that President Buhari, in his desperation to rig the elections, is now trying to hide under the guise of making special provision for internally displaced persons (IDPs) outside the country to illegally create rigging centres outside our country and import contrived figures into the election results.
“This clandestine arrangement further validates the alarm earlier raised by the PDP, in April this year, of INEC’s plot to secretly create 30,000 illegal polling centres in some remote areas, through which they plan to allocate millions of votes to President Buhari and the APC.
“Nigerians can now see that the APC and its candidate are not committed to peaceful, credible, free and fair election.
“Having realised that there is no way he can win in a peaceful and credible election, Mr. President is now seeking means to enmesh the 2019 elections in constitutional crisis, public confusion and trigger an imminent violence that is capable of derailing our entire democratic process.
“Moreover, by seeking to open polling units outside the country, the Buhari administration has now agreed that it does not have full control of Nigerian territory and cannot provide security for Nigerians to freely participate in the elections.
“If President Buhari is in any way inclined towards Diaspora voting, he should send an appropriate Bill to the National Assembly for approval to accommodate not only Nigerians in Chad and Niger Republic, but also those in other sub-Sahara countries as well as Europe, America and other parts of the world, who have been agitating for Diaspora voting.”
Meanwhile, INEC said on Thursday that there will be no Diaspora or out-of-country voting for any Nigerian in accordance with extant provisions of the Nigerian constitution 1999 (as amended). It said only duly registered internally displaced persons (IDPs) within the country that will be allowed to vote.
In a statement by Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC, the electoral umpire said, “The framework and regulations for IDP voting was presented and validated by stakeholders at a conference held in Abuja on December 12, 2018. However, there was no reference whatsoever in the remarks made by the Hon. Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu or during deliberations at the validation meeting that special provisions will be made for IDPs outside Nigeria to vote in the forthcoming general election, contrary to the said media reports”.
Continuing, Okoye said, “It should, however, be noted that while internally displaced persons currently residing in states where they registered can vote in all elections, those displaced from their states and are currently living in states other than where they registered can only vote in the presidential election.”