By Simon Ebegbulem, Benin City
THE Action Congress (AC) in Edo state, yesterday, alleged plans by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to connive with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to rig the forthcoming Etsako Central House of Assembly re_run election scheduled for January 23, 2010.
But the PDP through its spokesman in the state, Chief Nosa Adams, described the allegation as untrue, urging the AC to go and campaign than alleging what â€œ they are already doing so as to cover up their tracksâ€.
In a statement signed by the Etsako Central council campaign director of the party, Mr. Donald Inwalomhe, it stated that the PDP was â€using the INEC in the state to deny the electorate of their civic responsibility in the forthcoming election. He specifically blamed INEC of changing the original date for the election from January 16th to 23rd â€œbecause of a ploy to enable all kinds of manipulation of votersâ€™ register.â€
He alleged that INEC had â€œsecretly given registration materials to out to some PDP chieftains who are doing the illegal registration of thugs and hoodlums to be used for the election. The shifting of the date is to allow them perfect rigging. PDP has rigged this election before the re_run and the people must not allowÂ this clandestine and subtle way of rigging to take placeâ€
Inwalomhe however advised the INEC and the police to â€œallow the people of Etsako Central to express their electoral wish by using the votersâ€™ register used for the 2007 annulled House of Assembly electionâ€, adding that it was the only way peace can reign in the area as the people are ready and prepared not only to cast their votes but also defend their votesâ€
He also allged that some highly placed members of the PDP in the state had perfected plans to sow hundreds of mobile police uniforms for distribution to youths in the council to enable them rig the election.
â€œThis is what they are relying on to rig the election. The people they are sowing the uniforms for have confirmed the authenticity of our claims. It means we are not expecting policemen from Abuja as we have been made to believeâ€ it stated.