Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Governorship Campaign Council of the All Progressive Congress (APC) has raised allegations about what it claims is a plot by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state to bribe officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ahead the November 16 governorship election.
Related: Bayelsa Guber: APC attacks PDP over claims of influencing appointment of Presiding Officers
The Alternate Director-General of the campaign organisation, Prof Seiyefa Brisibe, responding to the allegation, said in a statement titled ‘BAYELSA 2019: PDP’s cry over SPOs, is Symptomatic of a Sinking Party’, said the party has it on good authority that the PDP had offered the sum of N1 billion to officials of the Commission.
Brisibe, who said the governorship campaign council condemned attempts to compromise the electoral umpire through financial inducement and upend the wishes of the electorate, stated that it is important to notify the national and state officials of the INEC that their integrity is at stake and that “any perpetuation of an illegality in connivance with the PDP, which is just a paper tiger, and a rejected party in the State for its twenty years of misrule, will destroy the image of the electoral body.”
The statement further reads:
“We, therefore, urge INEC to withstand the temptation of being used by the PDP to truncate the electoral process, especially with regard to the November 16 governorship polls in the State. It is shameful that the PDP, which claims to be on ground with all the structures required to win the elections, has chosen an illegal path by releasing such a whooping sum to compromise electoral standards. It is quite unfortunate that the Bayelsa State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is accusing the APC of influencing the appointment of ad hoc staff by the INEC for the November 16th governorship polls in the State.
“That accusation without doubt is symptomatic of a sinking party who in error believes that the electoral umpire cannot on its own recruit its staff for purposes of election but must depend on others to get things done. The PDP has always perpetuated such illegalities to upend the electoral wishes of the people and whenever they fail in their bid to compromise the process by colluding with INEC, they cry foul, which is what they have resorted to again.”
Responding to the accusations, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship campaign organisation, through its Director of Media and Publicity, Dr Jonathan Obuebite, insisted on its demand for the removal of the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Monday Udoh, over allegations that he had already been compromised by and is colluding with the APC to rig the election.