By Ben Agande
KADUNA—The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Kaduna State yesterday claimed it received “credible information” that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was under pressure to tamper with election materials used for the governorship elections on 9th March 2019 in the state.
But an official of INEC dismissed the allegation as “political talks”.
The official who spoke on condition of anonymity, because he is not authorized to speak to the press said “we have enough problems to contend with and do not want to join issues with politicians.”
Calls and text messages to the Spokesman of governor Nasir el-Rufai, Samuel Aruwan, were unanswered as at the time of this report.
The PDP and its governorship candidate in the election, Isa Ashiru are in court challenging the reelection of Governor el-Rufai, alleging the election was marred by irregularities.
In a statement issued in Kaduna yesterday, the state Publicity Secretary of the party, Abraham Catoh, claimed the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Government of Kaduna State was attempting to “coerce INEC into tampering with electoral materials.
“In as much as we do not want to question the integrity of INEC, we wish to state that the eyes and ears of our teeming party faithful/sympathisers are wide open in all INEC offices spread throughout the 23 Local Government Areas of Kaduna State and the state INEC Headquarters.
“We advice INEC not to do anything that could tamper with the fragile peace in the state, as any attempt to do the bidding of undemocratic external forces will be resisted by the public whose mandate was earlier stolen.
“Please note that while we would not want to say anything on the petition before the Tribunal, we wonder why the people, who claimed to have won the governorship elections, would be putting pressure on INEC to tamper with the voting materials in their favour.”
“The eagle eyes are watching and keeping vigil on this undemocratic and crude attempt at coercing INEC officials into embarking on a dangerous mission. We are raising this alarm, to remind INEC that vigilance is the keyword going forward to ensure that electoral materials under its custody are not only safe but untampered with in any shape or form”.