Election postponement: Ekiti PDP accuses INEC of scheming to rig for APC

Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman
Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Ekiti State, has expressed worries concerning the alleged late withdrawal of electoral materials for House of Representatives dispatched on Friday, February 15, 2019 before postponement of the general election by Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC).

The party also accused the commission of having disparities in the materials brought by the electoral commission from Abuja, adding that materials meant for the conduct of Presidential and Senatorial elections did not get to the State until the wee hours of Saturday.

Addressing newsmen in Afao Ekiti in Irepodun/Ifelodun local government area of Ekiti State on yesterday, the PDP chairman, Barr. Gboyega Oguntuase, said : “Curiously, materials for House of
Representatives election were not complete. No result sheets for Ward (Form EC8B) and Local Government (EC8C) as well as result sheets for final collation (Form EC8D) and announcement of final results (Form EC8E).

“Also, there were excess Polling Units Result Sheets (EC8A). The excess were more than two times the number polling units in Ekiti State.

“This is to say that each of the Polling Units in Ekiti State had more than one result sheet! This is clear manifestation of INEC intention to rig the election by using the excess result sheets to enter fake results for the APC.

“As at the wee hours of Saturday; only electoral materials for the conduct of House of Representatives (partial), Presidential and South Senatorial elections were brought to Ekiti, leaving those for Central
and North Senatorial Districts. The materials brought had excess Form EC8A.

“Immediately after the postponement, instruction was given to INEC offices at the Local Councils to withdraw all the materials already distributed and deposited same with the CBN except the Card Readers, which were said needed to be reconfigured.

“Why did it take INEC officials in some of the local governments up till 7pm to return the electoral materials to the CBN office in Ado Ekiti when directive to return the materials was issued as early as
8am on Saturday?

“Consequently, we are demanding that we be allowed by INEC and CBN to double-check all the electoral materials, more particularly the sensitive materials.

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Oguntuase also raised concern over alleged incessant arrest and harassment of members and supporters by men of the State Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) on the order of the APC chieftains.

“About 1am on Saturday, a hotel in Are-Ekiti, owned by the Director General of the Atiku/Obi Presidential Campaign Council in Ekiti State, Chief Dipo Anisulowo was invaded by armed SARS officers. Over ten people, including lodgers were arrested and detained till yesterday’s evening.

“Also, nine of our party supporters, including the mother of our House of Representatives candidate in Ekiti South Constituency (1), Hon. Segun Adekola were arrested in Igbara-Odo while another one was
arrested in Ilawe-Ekiti”.

But debunking the allegations, the INEC public relations officer in Ekiti, Taiwo Gbadegesin, said all the sensitive materials distributed have been withdrawn and kept at the CBN office in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti
State capital.

He said the commission dispatched its vehicles and security men on Saturday to retrieve ballot papers and result sheets across the state.

“This is not correct. All the materials distributed on Friday have been withdrawn. As we speak, they are in CBN while our smart card readers are here in our office, because they have to be reconfigured”, he said.

Also refuting the allegation that APC members were behind attacks on PDP, the Director General, Buhari/Osinbajo campaign council in Ekiti, Dr. Olusegun Osinkolu, said the party has no reason to resort to anti democratic means to win elections”.

APC is on ground in Ekiti. We did not attack anyone when we won governorship election here as an opposition. Why should we now resort to such acts when we are the ruling party in the state and at the
federal level?

“PDP was just looking for who to blame for its woes. They should look inward and settle their differences, rather than pointing accusing fingers at a wrong direction”.

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