By SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN—Tension heightened in Edo State, yesterday, when thousands of youths of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in the state stormed the state secretariat of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to protest what they called alleged attempt by the commission to connive with Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to rig the forthcoming July 14 governorship election in the state.
The protest followed the alleged arrest of a fake INEC official, who was caught with Direct Data Capturing Machine, DDC and allegedly confessed on camera that they had commenced the registration of voters since Sunday. The suspect was also alleged to have said that he was asked by PDP to register people in Uromi and Igueben.
This came barely 24 hours after the state ACN raised alarm that the state PDP had perfected plans to rig the election “with the INEC ICT unit in Abuja and Benin, they needed to deploy excess DDC machines to enable them achieve their aim of manipulating the process in the forthcoming election. The PDP would also use such excess machines to register their imported thugs from neighbouring states to manipulate the entire electoral process.”
PDP has meanwhile denied the allegation. Speaking through its state Publicity Secretary, Mr. Matthew Urhoghide, PDP denied the allegation and urged INEC not to be intimidated from doing its job, but to go on with the voters registration exercise scheduled to commence today.