Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Council has raised the alarm over plot by the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu and APC chieftains in Edo to rig and buy votes during the September 19 governorship election with N300 million polled from local councils in Lagos State. An allegation which the All Progressives Congress (APC) denied.
Chairman of the PDP Campaign council’s publicity and media committee, Chris Osa Nehikhare, in a statement, said intelligence available to the council revealed that the local councils in Lagos State have been mandated to contribute N15 million each to finance the rigging plan.
According to him, “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.
“It is 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, “We are sure 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 freewill to men who want to act god over their affairs. So Tinubu can keep his money in Lagos,” he said.
However, in its reaction the All Progressives Congress (APC) lashed out at the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for alleging that it(APC) was hatching a plot to rig the elections in Edo State through APC chieftain in Lagos, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, adding that Edo did not need a second-hand faulty governor like PDP’s Mr Godwin Obaseki.
The APC Media Campaign Council stated that Chris Osa Nehikhare, PDP spokesman, may have been disoriented when he “fabricated” the story.
APC said, “The PDP are renowned countrywide for their matchless fabrications. They are masters of falsehood, but whenever Nehikhare gets excited and tries to fabricate one, he overdoes it. It is glaring that the man did not know what he was saying. He should meet Chief Dan Orbih, his mentor, to teach him the art.”
The APC explained further that, “Edo people know that APC has no interest in dishonest politics. What do we stand to gain from buying votes that the people have already promised us? Why would Lagos local government councils raise that kind of money for us? Don’t they have anything to do with money in Lagos? If Lagos went about furnishing APC states with that kind of outrageous sum, what will they use to develop themselves? I think their claim is due to our earlier exposure on Obaseki’s order to council chairmen to release the sum of N1.7 million to 18 local government Electoral Officers (EOs).”
Reacting to the PDP’s claim that Bola Tinubu was masterminding the rigging process, APC said that, “If the man (Nehikhare) had been following the news, he would have noted that the person is lying against is only giving us moral support as a party leader. He is not here in Edo, and he is a man who strongly opposes anti-democratic moves. I don’t know why Nehikhare wants to drag him into the mess that Mr Obaseki has made of Edo politics, but he is insignificant to Tinubu and would likely not get a response from him. Again, don’t forget that this is the same APC National Leader Obaseki visited for endorsement and support for the APC ticket.”
Meanwhile, APC countered that the PDP “are masters of rigging. Their throne is made of pilfered mandate and the bones of democracy that they have picked clean in Edo. The thugs that they are housing and fattening in Edo state on taxpayers’ monies still irks Edo indigenes. Go around and ask, PDP militants are everywhere. They have spent up to N6.8bn already in trying to rig this election, and that is even the one we know. We are sure there’s more that we do not know.”
APC, however, advised Edo people not to sell their birthright and votes to the dishonest merchants and tax collectors of PDP, as the APC was coming to right all the wrongs of the past four years. “It is because we want the best for Edo state that we allowed him to go. He simply is not good for the state, but PDP was happy to take a person we rejected because Edo State cannot be governed by a London-used governor with faults. Edo needs a brand new governor and that is Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.