By Gabriel Enogholase
EDO State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has alleged that thousands of unclaimed Permanent Voters’ Cards, PVCs, in the state were secretly given out by the electoral body to members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, with a view to rigging the general election.
However, when contacted on phone, Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC. Mr. Emmanuel Alex – Hart said “It is not true.”
The Head of Voter Education and Publicity in INEC in the state, Mr Timidi Wariowei said that no fewer than 2, 219, 778 PVCs were received from INEC headquarters out of which 483,868 were said to have been uncollected.
State Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state, Mr. Chris Azebamwan also denied the allegation insisting that it was an attempt by the opposition party to denigrate the process, knowing fully well that it will lose.
According to Azebamwan, the allegation is laughable as there are three processes involved the authentication of the card by the card reader, biometric check and checking the names of the prospective voters on the register.
Orbih, who made the allegation while addressing a cross section of PDP leaders in Benin-City to review the postponement of weekend’s presidential election said, “ we have it on good authority that unclaimed PVCs in Edo State were secretly given out by INEC in the state to chairmen of the 18 local government areas with a view of rigging the elections. We have evidence to this effect.
“PDP supporters were denied the collection of their PVCs and were tossed here and there by INEC officials. Most of them were referred to the private residences of APC leaders where most of them claimed their PVCs.
“Again, the claims by INEC that sensitive electoral materials which included result sheets were not in the Benin City branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, is false. They were put in the private residences to be used for their staggered elections in 10 states that included Edo State.”
Meanwhile, briefing journalists, Edo State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Chris Nehikhare, recalled incidences that occurred the Friday night before the postponement of weekend presidential election by INEC, saying that most of their leaders were pencilled down for arrest by security agents.
Nehikhare assured that the party will not be intimidated by the antic of some leaders of the APC, who violently attacked some PDP supporters in Esan Central Local Government Area of the state.
He called on the international community to call the APC led Federal Government to order and stop the harassment and intimidation of opponents.