March 16, 2023

Elections: PDP urges INEC, security agencies to demonstrate due diligence

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to demonstrate due diligence in the conduct of Saturday governorship and House of Assembly elections in Nasarawa State.

The party made the call at a news conference on Thursday at New Karu, in the state.

The conference was jointly addressed by Dr Mike Omeri, the Director of Media and Publicity, Atiku Campaign Council, Nasarawa State and Labaran Maku, Director-General of PDP Campaign Council in the state.

Maku said following a robust campaign held by the PDP and its Governorship Candidate, Emmanuel Ombugadu, across the state, the party was expecting nothing less than 70 per cent of state total votes cast on Saturday.

The former Minister of Information said that naturally, Nasarawa State remained PDP stronghold and the party was counting on its numerous achievements and yarning of the people to reclaim power in the state.

“Absolutely, I can say that on Saturday, we are not expecting anything less than 70 per cent of the vote on the governorship election.

“And I am being very modest about it, because from the outpouring of supports from the enthusiastic crowds, from what the youth and women are saying, it is very clear that PDP will win the Saturday elections in Nasarawa,’’ he said.

Maku said that the issue of insecurity, disunity and other challenges confronting the state, the people of the state were looking up to PDP to return peace and development to Nasarawa.

He said while the PDP was sure of victory, the party had uncovered alleged plots by some political agents to disrupt elections in the state.

According to him, the plots include deliberate move to cause violence, over voting, deliberate delay in deployment of election materials and hijack of election materials in PDP stronghold areas in the state.

“We appeal to INEC to take the issue of deliberate cause of over voting seriously; otherwise it will disrupt the entire electoral process and defeat the purpose of the deployment of Bimodal Voter Accreditation machines.

“We have spoken to our party agents to be vigilant and to the people to ensure that they do not proceed to vote until they are properly captured by BVAS in the accreditation process.

“We also hear about deliberate move to cause delay in arrival of voting materials in PDP strongholds like we witnessed during the presidential election in the state.

“Again, we are calling on INEC that timetable on election should be kept, so that people would not be deliberately kept on voting queue to disenfranchise them,’’ Maku said.

Maku also alleged move to hijack of election materials and returning officers in some PDP strongholds to change election results in the state.

“We are calling on appropriate agencies to ensure that elections are conducted in credible manner, not only in Nasarawa but also across the country.

“There should be due diligence by INEC, security agencies, stakeholders and all of us that are involved in the election process,’’ Maku said.

On his part, Omeri said in spite of the plots against PDP in the Saturday election, PDP remained committed to attaining victory and delivering on its promises to the people of the state.

The former Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) urged PDP supporters and people of the Nasarawa State not to be intimidated by any one or group from coming out to vote for PDP and its candidates in Saturday elections in the state.

“We urge our people not to be intimidated or cowed by the kinds of things we hear and the stories that are being bandied.

“Our candidates, Emmanuel Ombugadu, the candidate to beat. He is ready. He has a plan for our people; we have seen it and that is why we are working with him.

“People should come out and cast that votes for Ombugadu and PDP on March 18,’’ he said.

He said the party was aware of the present challenges facing Nasarawa State and ready to address them immediately it is elected into power.

“Once we win you will see love, light and other developmental projects and not wait time on issues that cause division among the people.’’

Omeri urged political leaders in the state to watch their utterances and allow the people of the state to freely cast their votes for candidates of their choice.

“After March 18, we will still live together as brothers and sisters. So, let us not insult our people who will still be our brothers and sisters after election.

“We advise our people, wherever they are to be calm. They should make use of their Permanent Voter Cards and the ballots to determine our future,’’ Omeri said.