The Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has again alerted the international community, accredited election observers and members of the public to an alleged secret plot by Governor Adams Oshiomhole and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to substitute members of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) already trained for Edo governorship election with APC members.
In a statement signed by the Publicity Secretary, Mr Chris Nehikhare, the PDP restated its position that the postponement of the governorship election earlier scheduled for Saturday, September 10, was in line with the governor and the APC’s “devious plan,” pointing out that it had nothing to do with insecurity in the state.
According to the PDP, ‘’The postponement was well-planned to undermine the will of Edo people; we are now convinced that the phantom security advice by the Nigeria Police Force and the Department of State Services (DSS) was orchestrated by Governor Oshiomhole and some cabal within the APC in the face of imminent defeat in the election.
“For instance, we all know that many members of the NYSC were trained by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as ad hoc staff for the election; and, going by the ‘NYSC Action Plan, September 2016,’ the trained NYSC members are to finish their clearance, as part of their final disengagement process that will end on September 26.
“We have just been told by insiders within the APC that Governor Oshiomhole and his party had compiled a list of their party’s members that they will secretly use to replace the outgoing trained NYSC members.’’
The PDP said that one of the reasons the APC also asked INEC to fix the rescheduled election for Wednesday, September 28, an official working day, was to deny many electorate outside the state, who planned to come to the state for the election, from doing so.
It said hundreds of the electorate outside the state had arrived Edo before the election was postponed with many of them feeling disappointed about the action of the APC in connivance with INEC/security agencies.
According to the PDP, “part of APC strategy is also to unleash all kinds of propaganda against our candidate in the next two weeks in order to complement their devious plans to manipulate the election.’’
“PDP, therefore, calls on President Muhammadu Buhari, who had benefited from the process of a free and fair election, to caution Governor Oshiomhole and other federal institutions involved in the election not to plunge Edo into avoidable security crisis,” he said.
But the Edo APC, speaking through its Publicity Secretary, Mr Godwin Erhahon, described the allegation as mischievous and frivolous, accusing PDP of speaking out of frustration.
Erhahon said, “The PDP is talking out of frustration. The APC, having succeeded where the PDP failed, doesn’t have any need for rigging or manipulation.
“We will emerge victorious in an election the will be condcted in communities where the APC is seen as a Messiah,” he said.
Also speaking, the Public Relations Officer of the NYSC in Edo State, Mr Benjamin Esan, said no set of corps members is expected to pass out in September.
He said, “No, not at all. No set of corps members is passing out by September 26. They have to complete their national service before they pass out. The next set that will pass out will be October.”