How APC plans to rig Lagos gov, assembly polls, by PDP
Ruling party dismisses allegations
THE Jimi Agbaje Campaign Organisation has spoken of unearthing plans by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly elections in Lagos State.
In a catalogue of electoral misdemeanours reportedly lined up to illicitly swing results in favour of APC, the Agbaje organisation cited bribing of security officers and electoral officials, cancellation of unduly voided votes, intimidation of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) supporters, hijacking of ballot boxes, stuffing of voting boxes, deprivation and delaying of electoral officers and materials to PDP strongholds, and importation of mercenary voters from neighbouring states.
But in a swift reaction, the APC denied the allegations, describing them as immoral, unsubstantiated and illegal, and said they should be dismissed by the electorate.
The alleged rigging plans were exposed in a statement by Felix Oboagwina, Director of Publicity of Jimi Agbaje, governorship candidate of the PDP in Lagos State. According to the group, the Lagos State government met workers on Tuesday, and warned that it had posted to the polling units, agents who would spy on and report civil servants who voted against the APC governorship candidate, Akinwunmi Ambode.
“Many of these plans have been fashioned in addition to those deployed for the grand rigging that took place at the Presidential and National Assembly elections on March 28, and they are being perfected for April 11,” the statement said.
On the voiding of votes, the statement recalled the huge volume of voided votes, pointing out that many of them belonged to PDP and could have been salvaged as authentic votes.
Already, according to the statement, the mass importation of ghost or “ECOMOG” voters from Ekiti, Osun and Ondo states has commenced. It said that the APC was paying N10,000 per mercenary elector from the three states, from a central purse in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.
Oboagwina said information at the Jimi Agbaje Campaign organisation’s disposal revealed the infiltration of field officers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by card-carrying members of the APC.
“The rival party’s loyalists worked as electoral officers in the last election, they mounted polling units and collation units at the ward, local government and state levels and they made a lot of difference in the result that ended up favouring their paymasters,” he said.
The statement also spoke of slush money being amassed to induce electoral officers, including ad hoc and bonafide staffers, manning the polling units, ward, local government and state levels.
In the multipronged attack, according to the statement, the rival party planned to intimidate PDP and Agbaje supporters and force them to abandon their usual voting constituencies on Election Day.
In places like Ibeju-Lekki, the statement alleged, APC has been camping NYSC members in hotels and bribing them to assist help falsifying figures.
It also said the rival party planned to get its allies within INEC at the local governments to deliberately delay distribution of materials to PDP strongholds and places with high density of non-indigenes.
“In the last elections, constituencies where PDP recorded high votes had the results upturned and in the repeat polls, the rival party was illegally assisted to win.
This will happen again,” it said. “As happened on that day too, polling unit results would be recorded on temporary sheets and changed at the collation stage.” The Lagos APC which reacted through its Publicity Secretary, Joe Igbokwe, said the PDP is only showing sign it will soon die a natural death in Lagos.
“For what purpose should we import mercenaries voters from Ondo and Osun when we have over three million registered voters in Lagos and majority of them voted for the APC in the last election?” Igbokwe also dismissed the allegation that the APC is planning to use slush funds to bribe security and INEC officials.
“This is a tradition of the PDP in the last 15 years, but now that the party is no longer in power, it is APC’s turn to be so accused,” he said. Igbokwe wondered why the table has suddenly changed that the PDP is now crying wolves “where it is actually guilty.”
“Before the presidential election, the PDP unleashed members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) on the Lagosians where they vandalized most APC posters along the the road, displayed arms and ammunition and unleashed terror, not only on the members of our parties but on innocent Nigerians.” He said it remains baffling that the PDP, within a matter of days that it lost power, could come out crying like this.