Osun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) plans to rig the July 8, 2017 senatorial by-election.
The by-election will fill the vacuum created by the death of Senator Isiaka Adeleke, who died on April 23, 2017.
PDP Chairman in thte state, Soji Adagunodo, who raised the alarm in Osogbo, the state capital, yesterday, told newsmen that some APC chieftains in the state have started conniving with electoral officers to scuttle the process of free, fair and credible poll.
He alleged that the plan is to delete names of supporters in PDP strongholds.
Adagunodo, who alleged that APC is desperate to rig the election in favour of its candidate, Senator Hussein Mudasiru, further alleged that the party has concluded plans to distort allocation of ballot papers in such a manner that those meant for specific local governments, wards and polling units are diverted to wrong locations to delay the commencement of voting and disenfranchise voters.
He also alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in the last one week, had been under pressure by the APC leadership to postpone the election by two to three weeks.
Adagunodo also alleged that the state government has allegedly procured the services of notorious thugs from within and outside the state to unleash violence in Ede North, Ede South, Egbedore, Irewole, Iwo and Ayedaade local government areas on the election day to scare away voters and manipulate electoral process.
He added that the APC election strategy committee was also allegedly conniving with certain elements in INEC to recruit O’YES cadets and other party sympathisers as presiding officers and polling clerks.
“Part of the plans is to provide fake National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) uniforms and distribute same to these elements to make them carry out the plan.
“As we speak, certain chieftains of APC have compiled names of their party members and sympathisers to be accredited by INEC as election observers and monitors.
“You will recall that 181 of these same elements from Osun State were arrested somewhere in Imo State in 2013, while travelling as fake observers for the Anambra governorship election,” Adagunodo said.
Adagunodo also accused the APC candidate in the election, Hussein, of clandestine plans to bring in thousands of non-residents from Abidjan, Cotonou, Togo and Ghana as voters.
Adagunodo, however, called on INEC to call its officers to order, and not compromise its integrity.
“We will test the integrity of INEC in this election,” he declared.
Reacting to Adagunodo’s allegations, APC called on the PDP leadership to prove its allegations with available technical, electronic and forensic evidences.
APC spoke through its Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Kunle Oyatomi, who also urged security agents to invite PDP leaders to prove the allegations, otherwise, “they should be prosecuted.
“We challenge the PDP to go further and authenticate the so-called allegations and identify the so-called leaders of the APC with all the technical, electronic and forensic evidences necessary to prove the allegations.
“The APC believes that these allegations of rigging arethe product of the sick mentality of Osun PDP and its supporters who are psychologically tormented by the obsession to win Osun West senatorial seat, by any concoctive and demonic means.
“We declare that the APC can never descend to the criminality of accessing electoral materials, not to talk of planning to rig the forthcoming election.
“We are, therefore, alerting Osun people to discountenance the stupid allegations by PDP that could not do anything to the consistent defeats they have suffered in the hands of APC since 2011,” Oyatomi said.