Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

By Richard Elesho

The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC of hoarding vital information on the November 16 Kogi Governorship election and conniving with the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to rig the poll.

The party gave INEC 24-hour ultimatum to come out clean by explaining the modalities for Saturday’s poll as it would fold its arm and allow the election to be rigged in favour of the ruling party.

This is contained in a statement signed by Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP National Publicity Secretary and made available to journalists in Lokoja on Tuesday. The party called on the electoral umpire to end its “apparent tilt towards underhandedness in the processes leading to the election.

Ologbondiyan said “INEC’s failure to openly inform stakeholders on the election modalities, particularly the use of card readers, the mode of accreditation, voting, as well as collation, transmission and declaration of election results from the polling units to the final declaration, raises questions on the sincerity of the commission to deliver a credible election.”

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The PDP alerted that such suppression of vital information ahead of this crucial election heightened public suspicion and allegations of conspiracies between INEC and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to muddle up and manipulate the electoral processes to favour the APC.

The party cautioned that the situation was already generating tension in the state, given the insistence of the people for a transparent, free and credible election that would only reflect their wishes and aspirations at the polls.

“Our party forewarns the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, not to cause trouble in Kogi state by immediately declaring the mode of transmission of results given the claims by the commission, before the Presidential Election Petition Panel, that it does not have a server.”

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The PDP charged the INEC Chairman not to allow the Commission to be entangled with the sinister plots of the APC and that he should immediately clear the air on the manner of accreditation of voters, checking of voter register disparities, the modality for voting as well as whether the commission will deploy manual or electronic transmission of election results to the final declaration.

“The PDP wants INEC to know that the party and the people of Kogi state are not leaving anything to chance in this election.

“For the people of Kogi state, this election marks their irrevocable determination to entrench a new order in their state and they are not ready to accept any process that does not point to assurances of a transparent, credible, free and fair election.

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“Our party therefore requests the management of INEC to provide answers to these crucial issues within the next 24 hours as its silence is already spawning anxieties, which are capable of triggering serious crisis ahead of the election,” he said,