THE national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has instructed its Ondo State chapter to challenge the outcome of Saturday’s governorshi[ election at the tribunal.
While rejecting the declaration of Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as the winner over its candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, the PDP National Caretaker Committee, led by Ahmed Makarfi, accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of engaging in advanced rigging in favour of the ruling party.
In a statement issued by its national publicity secretary, Dayo Adeyeye, in Abuja on Monday, the party condemned INEC for its refusal to postpone the election in order to give Eyitayo the opportunity to organise his campaign.
It said the election was a charade and not the true reflection of the will of the people of Ondo State.
The statement read: “INEC has however graduated from inconclusive elections as seen in Kogi, Bayelsa, Osun, FCT, Imo, Nassarawa and some other previous by-elections in the country to ‘advanced election rigging’, as in the case of Edo and Ondo states gubernatorial elections.
“It is common knowledge that the APC agents openly bought votes of the electorate in the full glare of security operatives who did nothing to prevent such dastardly violation of the Electoral Law.
“It is not surprising that the electorate in Ondo State became so vulnerable to the corruptive influence of APC because of the hash economic situation in the county, inflicted on Nigerians by the APC administration which have indeed made all Nigerians virtually beggars in their own country.”
“Nigerians will recall that we had persistently called for the postponement of the election before Saturday for, at least, two weeks to enable our party campaign and prepare properly for this election as a result of the setback orchestrated by Justice Okon Abang and the charlatans in PDP who allowed themselves to be used by APC to destroy our chances in the Ondo State election.
“The actions of INEC, in collaboration with the APC-led administration, left us no time to campaign and sell our candidate and our party manifesto to the electorate in Ondo State.
“Our persistent call for the postponement of the election which was backed and supported by more than 20 other political parties, were all rejected by INEC, acting the script of APC.
“It was a carefully planned and well orchestrated strategy to rig the election well in advance by preventing the PDP from planning and campaigning for the election, APC has hereby introduced a new formula for rigging election in Nigeria,” he said.
Meanwhile, claimant to the office of the national chairman of the PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has blamed the loss of PDP in the Ondo State election on what he said was impunity and lack of respect for the party’s Constitution and the rule of law.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Monday, the National Secretary of the Sheriff faction of PDP, Professor Wale Oladipo, said the same factors were responsible for the failure of party to win the last gubernatorial election in Edo state.