Osun bye-election: PDP accuses APC of plan to rig, APC says allegation is baseless

From left: The PDP candidate for July 8 Osun West bye-election, Dr Ademola Nurudeen Adeleke; Osun State chairman of the PDP, Hon Soji Adagunodo and deputy state chairman of the PDP, Mr Akanfe Atidade during the press conference in Osogbo, on Tuesday.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Osun State chapter, on Tuesday raised the alarm that their counterpart in the All Progressive Congress (APC) was allegedly mounting pressures on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the July 8 bye-election in Osun West Senatorial District.

It also alleged that the party had perfected plans to compromise certain officials of INEC to supply inadequate number of ballot papers to many polling units identified as strongholds of the PDP in eight local governments in the senatorial district.

Addressing a press conference at the party secretariat in Osogbo, the chairman of the PDP in Osun, Hon Soji Adagunodo said the APC top leaders were already terrified of an imminent defeat during the poll, hence the mounting of pressure on the electoral body to shift the poll.

According to him, “in the last one week, INEC has been under pressure by the APC leadership to shift the date of the forthcoming by-election for between two and three weeks. This, you will recall was the same strategy used ahead of the Edo State governorship election held in September 2016.”

While advising INEC not to succumb to the pressures from the APC, Adagunodo, said “doing so will compromise its integrity and cast a great doubt on its independence as an electoral umpire, adding it was strange “on the part of the APC to be pushing for postponement now when about 22 political parties, including PDP had at a stakeholders’ meeting in with the electoral body unanimously agreed for the election to be held July 22, 2017.”

He stated, “at the stakeholders’ meeting with INEC in Iwo, only APC and one other political party insisted that Osun West by election should be held in July 8. Now APC is mounting pressure on INEC to postpone the exercise because electoral defeat is starring them in the face.”

Adagunodo also accused an unnamed APC chieftain of plotting to delete names of eligible voters identified to be PDP members and supporters from INEC data base. This is being done state-wide and with the active collaboration of some officials of the electoral body.

Reacting to the allegations of the PDP, the director of publicity, research and strategy of the APC in Osun, Barrister Kunle Oyatomi described the allegations of the PDP as baseless and untrue, calling it “a product of sick mentality of the party and its supporters, who are psychologically tormented by the obsession to win Osun West senatorial seat by any concoctive and demonic means.”

He affirmed that “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 evidence necessary to prove the allegations.”

“We also call on the security agents to invite the PDP leaders to convince them (PDP) of all the allegations, otherwise they should be prosecuted. The APC believes that this allegations of rigging is the product of sick mentality of the 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 all good people of Osun State to discountenance the stupid allegations by the PDP who could not do anything to the constant defeats they have suffered in the hands of APC since 2011,” Oyatomi added.

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