The All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked INEC to urgently circulate to all political parties the Voters Identification Numbers (VINs) of all unclaimed Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and publicly declare that anyone in possession of any PVC with any of such numbers is an impostor who must be arrested if he or she tries to use it.
In a communique issued after the emergency meeting of its National Executive Committee (NEC) in Osogbo on Wednesday, the party said in addition to circulating the VINs of the unclaimed PVCs, INEC must publicly declare invalid for the purpose of the August 9, Osun governorship election all the PVCs with the circulated VINs.
It said the circulation of the VINs of the unclaimed PVCs and the INEC’s declaration as invalid of all PVCs bearing the VINs for the Saturday election is the irreducible minimal condition for the Aug. 9th Governorship Election to be free, fair, credible and transparent.
APC strongly warns against the plan by the PDP-led Federal Government to rig the Osun election through financial inducements and also by using the security agents who have been deployed to Osun State in their thousands, especially soldiers and State Security Service (SSS) officials, to arrest key leaders of the party.
”The party has received information that at a meeting held overnight in Osogbo involving top officials of the PDP and the Federal Government as well as INEC officials, a huge sum of money was earmarked for payment to key electoral officials to rig Saturday’s election in favour of the PDP.
”At the same meeting it was resolved that APC leaders like Senator Jide Omoworare, Hon. Rotimi Makinde and others will immediately be put under house arrest and their movements severely restricted as soon as they cast their votes. Any arrest, harassment and intimidation of our leaders, as was massively done in Ekiti, will be totally unacceptable and deemed as orchestrated to rig the election,” the party said.
It also said that based on credible information, the rural farm settlements around Ile-Ife and Ilesha, among others, have been identified as areas where the 500,000 cloned cards and other PVCs illegally obtained will be used mostly on Saturday.
APC condemns the rumored plan by the security not to allow party agents within 5 metres of the polling booths to be used for Saturday’s election, calling it a ploy to make it impossible for all accredited agents to perform their statutory duty of verifying the identity of those coming to be accredited to vote.
”Accreditation is the bedrock of a free and fair election and once the security, whether military or otherwise, succeeds in preventing accredited party agents from performing their statutory role, then the basis for a free and fair election is gone. The only reason why the military will not allow party agents to do their work is to aid those who are not authorized to vote to do so. This is the only way 500,000 unclaimed PVCs and others illegally obtained can be used to rig the elections.
”We are therefore calling on INEC to prevail on the security agencies to allow the party agents to do their work unhindered on Saturday. We also want to remind INEC to note that soldiers, by law, have no business at polling booths, not to talk of the irony of the same soldiers now preventing party agents from discharging their statutory roles.
”Even more brazen and bizarre is the information reaching us that the majority of the 500,000 PVCs and others illegally obtained may have been given to uniformed men, both official and unofficial, who in the absence of prying eyes will cast multiple votes and rig the election in favour of the PDP.
”We also have very credible information that when all fails directives might be given to the EOs to allow anyone with a Permanent voters card to cast his or her vote even when their names are not on the voters register. These are frightening and sinister scenarios which we want INEC to take note of and prevent from happening,” the party said.
It condemned the glaring partisanship of the security agencies that have been deployed to Osun for the election, against the background that the Department of State Service (DSS) today prevented the solidarity rally of the NLC in support of Gov. Aregbesola at the Freedom Park Osogbo from taking place on the grounds that there is a division within the NLC!
”Also, we are uncomfortable with the tale being peddled to the rank and file of the police in Osun state that the acting IGP has directed that Osun election must be won by the PDP as a condition for his confirmation.
” The APC is aware of the desperation of the PDP to win Saturday’s election at all cost, even when everything, including an opinion poll carried out by a globally-acknowledged firm, RMS-TNS, points to the fact that the APC candidate, Gov. Rauf Aregbesola, is the runaway leader among all the candidates for the election.
”Our party especially notes the circulation of the result of an opinion poll purportedly carried out by USAID showing the PDP candidate, Senator Iyiola Omisore, as the leading candidate.
Thankfully, USAID has publicly dissociated itself from such poll, saying it never carried out any opinion poll on Osun State. There is no clearer evidence of desperation than this.
”We must however not fail to warn that Osun Election will determine the fate of democracy in Nigeria, and therefore call on all stakeholders to provide a level playing field for all ” APC said.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed
National Publicity Secretary
All Progressives Congress (APC)