Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State on Tuesday said it has uncovered a series of plots by the All Progressive Congress (APC) to allegedly rig Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state.
The Director-General of the PDP campaign council, Mr. Funkekeme Solomon who raised the alarm in Asaba during a press briefing, fingered the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, former governor of the state, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and the APC governorship candidate, Great Ogboru as the arrowheads orchestrating the alleged rigging plots.
Funkekeme alleged that the APC was mobilising a large number of ex-militants to be dressed in military uniform with arms, and moved them into concealed locations from where they would be dispatched to PDP strongholds with strict instructions to distabilise the voting process.
Besides, he alleged that part of the plan of the APC was to use the ex-militants to place influential PDP members under house arrest to prevent them from mobilising fully for the elections, adding that PDP leaders and supporters who eventually make it to the polling centres would be harassed and brutalised to submission.
Funkekeme further alleged that the APC had also concluded plans to import thugs from neighbouring Edo State with the sole aim of distabilising the polls in Delta State, and creating a state of insecurity so that the election in the state would be declared inconclusive.
He said the PDP also uncovered plots by the APC to apply “the ‘Lagos Treatment’ in Delta central senatorial district by identifying and violently stopping people from voting and destroying electoral materials where voting has actually taken place, just as they shamelessly did in Okota in Lagos State, during the February 23, 2019, presidential and National Assembly elections.”
Funkekeme further alleged that thugs had been mobilised to “attack the electoral process to disrupt the activities of INEC officials with the deliberate intention to postpone the state’s election to enable them to perfect their rigging arrangements in favour of the APC candidates by deploying more security on the rescheduled date.”
But in a swift reaction, the spokesman of APC campaign council in the state, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, denied the allegations, saying that the APC was too refined to be engaged in crude means to win the election.
Ojougboh said the allegations raised by the PDP were their own plans to rig the elections, noting that the ruling party in the state was reputed for violence and that the APC was simply abiding by President Muhammadu Buhari’s instructions that nobody should engage in acts inimical to the progress of the country.
Regardless, Funkekeme insisted that the PDP had an intelligent report that the alleged rigging plots would commence few days to the March 9 elections.
“The aim is to suppress the will of the people and prevent them from voting for PDP, thereby providing the opportunity for the APC to manipulate and increase the figures from a visibly low turnout, in favour of their candidates.
“We have raised this alarm to alert Deltans and put the global community on notice that the APC has declared war on ordinary civilians and Deltans because they want to ‘capture’ Delta State and turn the people into slaves.
“They have no remorse whatsoever about the bloody consequences and the actual and collateral damage of their dangerous plan so long as they ‘win’ Delta State in the governorship election.
“We recall vividly that the national chairman APC, ex-Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, had boasted and vowed repeatedly and with audacity that his ultimate ambition is to unseat the PDP and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as the governor of Delta State and conquer Delta State as if Deltans are slaves, and he will unleash the full weight and power of the ‘Federal might’ to achieve this objective.
“And to fulfil this crazy obsession and insane desire, the APC chairman has connived with ex-governor Uduaghan, who is still very bitter that he could not get an automatic ticket as the PDP Delta South senatorial candidate and whose ‘bad belle’ for PDP has been increased with his embarrassing defeat at the just concluded senatorial election as well as Great Ogboru, who is ready to do a deal even with the devil himself, in order to fulfill his vaunting ambition to govern Delta State, and they are hell-bent on turning Delta State into a theatre of war and unleash a potential orgy of blood bath in the state, once these ex-militants are let loose on the innocent people of our dear state,” Funkekeme alleged.