The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Niger says the state chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has no electoral value.
The PDP made the claim in a statement signed by Mr Tanko Beji its deputy chairman and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Minna.
He said the threat made by the APC to boycott the Niger-East senatorial by-election if Dr Emmanuel Onucheyo the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), was not removed was “deceitful.’’
The by-election is scheduled to hold from Aug. 16 to Aug. 30.
Beji said, “the threat is an attempt to cover up its (APC’s) lack of electoral value.’’
NAN recalls that the APC, through its Publicity Secretary, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, had alleged that Onucheyo is a card carrying member of the PDP.
He called on INEC national headquarter to redeploy the commissioner to pave way for free and fair by-election in the senatorial district.
Vatsa also claimed the REC requested for and was given N44.3 million by Niger government to organise national inter-agency advisory committee on voter education and publicity.
Beji said the state chapter of the APC is factionalised and advised its leadership to concentrate on their internal problems and refrain from making `puerile and laughable excuses.’
He said: “the allegation against the REC has no substance.
“It is clear that the opposition party which presently has no structure or supporters in the state is already heading towards defeat.
“They are looking for those to blame for their own political problems.
“They should leave the REC alone and braze up to looming defeat which is quite inevitable for them,’’ he said.
The deputy chairman explained that the money requested by the REC was N28.7 million not N44.3 million as alleged by the APC.
He added that though the money had been approved by the government, it was yet to be released.
He said the money was part of the efforts of the government to sensitise the electorate ahead of next year’s general elections.
He said, “the government has made its position clear on the matter of release of funds to the REC.
“For emphasis sake, the money is meant for Niger state committee on voter education to sensitise and educate the people through the media and for the production of educational leaflets, banners and flyers.
“It has nothing to do with Dr Onucheyo or INEC. It is meant to educate voters on how to obtain and use their permanent voter cards. (NAN)