The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected alleged moves by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to accommodate candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the general elections in Rivers State.
INEC had, through its National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, hinted at the weekend that certain circumstances could lead to the postponement of elections in Rivers State, to accommodate the APC.
The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt had, in two separate rulings, voided the processes through which candidates of the APC for the various elective offices emerged.
A statement by the spokesman of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, described the suggestion by INEC to admit APC candidates to the election as distasteful.
The main opposition party said the electoral body’s position only points to a collusion with the APC in a plot to stalemate electoral processes in some strategic states to pave the way for the postponement of elections in such states.
According to the PDP, the motive is to use compromised security forces to effect massive rigging, “as was the case in the 2018 Ekiti and Osun states governorship elections”, a scheme, which the party said, would be resisted by Nigerians in the 2019 general elections.
The statement said, “Currently, the APC is not on the ballot and has no candidates for the governorship, senatorial, House of Representatives and State Assembly elections in Rivers and Zamfara states, following the voiding of the APC congresses in these states by the court.
“In line with this reality, the ballot paper in all elections in Rivers and Zamfara states must, under no circumstance, bear the logo of the APC.
“The PDP insists that INEC must base all its actions and contemplations for the elections on this reality and should under no circumstance predicate any action on a hypothetical condition.
“It is also important for INEC to know that Okoye’s advocacy for the APC detracts from the commission’s neutrality and exposes it as a compromised umpire”.
The PDP charged the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to be appropriately guided in the conduct of the general elections.
“Unlike the APC, our party is fully prepared for the elections and will never allow the APC and some compromised INEC officials to manipulate the elections, just because the APC has seen that it has no chance of winning.
“The PDP therefore calls on all Nigerians to unite in condemnation of this cowardly scheme by the APC in its bid to foist itself back to power against their collective will as a people”.