Oyo State APC has said it had uncovered plans by the Peoples Democratic Party and the Independent National Electoral Commission to change the location of some polling stations with a view to frustrating voters on the day of the election.
The allegation was contained in a statement issued on Sunday and made available to journalists in Ibadan by the APC’s Publicity Secretary, Olawale Sadare.
The APC spokesperson said the opposition party in the state was in possession of an intelligence report revealing how the state governor, Seyi Makinde, had allegedly compromised some bad eggs within INEC to assist in relocating polling units in the state to locations which may be inaccessible, hard to reach or even non-existent, on poll day.
The statement read, “Makinde, already getting the signals pointing to his inevitable electoral doom, has issued a standing instruction to some bad eggs within the Oyo State office of INEC, to immediately relocate several polling units across the state, from their advertised addresses to unknown or obscure locations.
“A run-through of the affected units revealed clearly the devil behind the detail; they are units considered strongholds of our party, which given the pervasive atmosphere of free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria, our party is expected to win hands down, without fuss.
“Not only would this plot cause voters incalculable stress on election day, for many will be hearing of such for the first time on poll day, but many will also become disenchanted once they are unable to locate the new polling units. This will then drop the idea of participating in the voting exercise and thus reducing the chances of the electoral victory of the preferred candidate”.
Wondering why Governor Makinde and his party, the PDP had to be plotting electoral fraud day and night, despite boasts declaring his re-election a walk-over, and deadly propaganda to boot, the party informed them that no matter the depth of their plots or the dexterity of their schemes, the resolve of the good people of Oyo State to free themselves from a government of deceit, will always tear it all to smithereens.
“By this notice, we alert the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the Zonal Electoral Commissioner, the Resident Electoral Commissioner and all electoral stakeholders to beam the commission’s searchlight on the activities of INEC staff, especially those in the Oyo State office, so that they do not allow some bad eggs tarnish the commission’s hard-earned reputation nor put to disrepute, its concerted efforts at organising free, fair and credible polls.
“We have put behind us the ugly experience of 2019 when a supposed unbiased umpire became an interested party and connived with the PDP to perpetrate electoral fraud. The hatchet job was well done such that most polling stations were turned to drinking joints by PDP members as early as 12 noon on the election day as a result of the assurance they had got.
“But this time round, INEC shall be made accountable for all unclaimed PVC, electoral materials and the proper conduct of the poll.”
However, the PDP has described the allegation by the APC as spurious, saying the opposition party in the state said that out of frustration because their plans to rig the coming polls had been blocked by INEC.
The spokesman of the PDP in Oyo State, Mr Akeem Olatunji, said in an interview with our correspondent that it has dawned on the APC that its electoral failure was imminent.
He said, “Their allegation on relocating polling units confirms the notion that APC is practically dead in Oyo. When someone has lost a fight, they will be fabricating reasons for their defeat and that is exactly what the APC is doing now.
“They know that they cannot win without manipulation and the plan has been blocked by INEC, so that is why they have resorted to spurious allegations.
“We are not the ruling party at the federal level and INEC is a federal agency so, how is it possible for the opposition party to control the agency under the ruling party? They are saying what they have in mind about rigging the coming election but we are confident that INEC under Prof. Mahmood Yakubu would do a good job in 2023 elections.
“With the BVAS introduced by INEC APC knows that they cannot get half of the votes they got in 2019 because the party had scattered and defeating them this time would cause us to break a sweat.”