As Nigerians get set to cast their votes in Saturday’s Presidential election, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has tasked the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to clean up the voter register to ensure that only eligible voters participate in the exercise
The party said, in Abuja, that despite assurances from the electoral umpire, a systematic rigging of the polls may play out owing to what it called the manipulation of the true record in the voters register. Addressing a world press conference at the party’s Presidential Campaign headquarters on Friday, PDP national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, accused the umpire of failing to do its homework with elections around the corner. “It is clear that INEC did not in fact do a clean up of the register of voters before it published it. In previous INEC administrations, this eventuality was mitigated by administrative arrangements wherein a voter did accreditation in the morning and voted in the afternoon – so if a voter wanted to vote twice, say at A and B, they would have to go to A and get accredited, then go to B and also get accredited, and then go back to A to vote and the then go to B to vote. According to Secondus, “the voters register contains the data of dead voters,” adding that “Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs for dead voters were printed and distributed nationwide,” by the umpire. Elections may be manipulated, according to Secondus, “by deliberately corrupting the INEC voter’s register to induce voter’s suppression in PDP’s strong hold operations areas with the aim of disenfranchising at least four voters through corrupting of their four names on the voters register. The strategy is to create artificial problems wherein at least four registered voters can be disfranchised in PDP stronghold areas. The target is to adequately limit the estimated members of PDP who would want to vote in their areas. While noting that available data show that “the gross death rate in Nigeria is 12.5 per 1000 lives, we have evidence that over 1,050,051 dead voters will vote in this election,” Secondus also said that, “the decision that dead voters will cast ballots has been taken by INEC and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “The idea of ghost voters is consistent with the nature of this virtual President.” The PDP boss also accused INEC of registering non-Nigerians for the polls saying, “There has been a coordinated approach to register foreigners as voters, mainly from Niger and Cameroon. “That is why INEC has established so many polling units along the borders with Cameroon and Niger.” Security agencies were not left out as he claimed that “intelligence available to the party also shows that some uniforms of para-military and military operatives particularly the Army and Police have been produced in large numbers for use by civilians during the voting period.” He further explained other possible infractions which may bring the polls into disrepute saying “there is deliberate ploy to disrupt internet services and jam cell tower coverage ostensibly to prevent Nigerians from covering the elections via social media. “There is also confirmed intelligence showing that critical PDP players in this election are to be earmarked, arrested and quarantined to a particular location to give way for the elections to be rigged. “To send faulty card reader machine to certain identified PDP strongholds and record a deliberate slow screening of voters to frustrate and discourage them. “They have packaged large sums of foreign currencies to induce voters, security and INEC operatives. “We also have on good authority that all the electoral frauds via the ICT which the APC has mapped out are being coordinated by a highly placed government official (body bag) with the help of some foreigners inside an apartment in the government House and other locations in Kaduna state,” he added. He also accused the government of misusing state resources to prosecute its re-election bid, stressing that PDP has “witnessed the extravagant amounts displayed in this campaign by APC in advertisements, billboards and the use of State media as an instrument of the party.” On announcement of the outcome of the polls, the PDP chaired berated President Buhari for failing to sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law, stating that “despite resources being deployed to set up an electronic system to announce results, this has been ruled out by INEC, mainly because the President himself has refused to sign the law that would have made this possible. “The plan,” he maintained “is to announce results in the way it was done recently in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the winner was declared the loser and the loser was declared the winner.” The PDP called on INEC to immediately call a meeting of the political parties participating in the Presidential election to appoint representatives drawn from the parties that will oversee their work. It also call on the peace committee to prevail on the federal Government and various agencies involved to go the way of free and fair elections. The Election Observer Missions he said should immediately “release a preliminary report based on their assessment of the pre-election situation and publish a verdict and that “security agencies should foil the planned use of foreign voters from Niger and Cameroon.” On the letter written by the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami to INEC chairman, seeking the postponement of elections in Zamfara state, Secondus responded this way: “The AGF letter is part of APC’s design to arm-twist INEC and judiciary to take illegal action in their favor. “The AGF is an interested party on this matter and has no moral right to advice INEC. “The inability of the APC to field candidates due to self-inflicted crisis when other parties did within the stipulated period for the election is not covered by section 38 & 39 of the electoral Act 2010 which the AGF is relying on his dubious advice.” He therefore called on INEC to follow the dictates of the law and continue in its plan to achieve a credible electoral exercise.