National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus has alleged that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has put machinery in places to manipulate the governorship elections in nine states in next year’s general elections.
Secondus, was hosted yesterday at the election team from the Economic Community of West Africa states (ECOWAS) led by Mohammad Conteh, said the plan was to militarise the states and create crisis during the election.
This statement was made by his media adviser, Ike Abonyi, listed the states to include Kano, Benue, Rivers, Bauchi, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Imo, Kwara and Lagos.
According to the statement, the plot was to disrupt the conduct of elections in these states to pave the way for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the elections.
Secondus told the delegation that PDP has no confidence in INEC to conduct free and fair elections in 2019.
He stated that “The INEC chairman has no strong will to follow our electoral laws and constitution as well as the laid down international standards in his processes towards 2019, and we want to let the world know this before it happens
He stated that the INEC had used the governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states as dress rehearsals to rig the general elections.
Secondus also accused security agencies of aiding election rigging in the country, but warned that any attempt to rig next year’s general elections would be an invitation for anarchy.
He, however, commended the judiciary for defending the nation’s democracy, pointing out that without that arm of the government, the country would have been a banana republic.
The leader of the five-man team, Conteh, had earlier expressed the need for credible elections in Nigeria, saying it would go a long way to deepen democracy in the sub-region.
“The commission is focusing on preparations for the 2019 general elections at the moment and will not join issues with any political party, especially the one that has perfected the art of raising false alarm,” Oyekanmi added.
Meanwhile, the APC has accused the PDP of deploying fake news and distortions as its campaign strategies.
APC, which faulted the campaign strategy of PDP, said it supports ongoing global media attention and efforts to check the proliferation of fake news, particularly as the country gears up for campaigns ahead of the 2019 elections.
Speaking on fake news, the party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said the consequences of fake news are often dire as it inflames perceived divisions in our communities, fuels hate speech, leads to violence and distorts democratic processes, among others.
The party said: “Disturbingly, the country’s main opposition PDP and its discredited agents have continued to deploy the loathsome strategy of fake news, misinformation and distortion of facts as focal campaign strategies for the 2019 elections.