Edo State chapters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) are engaged in a fresh face-off over alleged printing of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to rig the September 19 governorship election.
By Bisi Olaniyi, Benin
The parties also disagreed over the allegation of stoking violence in the state to ensure the postponement of the poll.
PDP, through its Publicity Secretary, Chris Nehikhare, on Sunday at a news conference at the re-election campaign organisation’s office of Governor Godwin Obaseki at the Government Reservation Area (GRA), Benin, levelled the allegations against the leaders and members of the APC.
The party said: “We wrote letters to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Department of State Services (DSS), the police and other security agencies to give them our itineraries for the campaigns.
“Owan West was one of the local governments that we gave the dates for, for our electioneering, but to our surprise, APC leaders chose the same day for Estako West Local Government to visit the same area, but our intelligence showed that they deliberately did that to ensure clash, because from the outset, all they are interested in, is to have the September 19 election postponed, by fomenting trouble.
“They are aware that as it is today, they will be defeated roundly and very decisively. So, it is in their interest that the election is postponed.
“We also notified the security agencies that APC leaders are printing PVCs to be used to rig the election. We told them of the location of the printing of the PVCs, but they decided to turn a blind eye.
“APC leaders have discovered that they cannot win a free and fair election. So, they are displaying desperation. Governor Obaseki is sure of winning the election, in view of his impressive performance in almost four years. Edo people are also tired of godfatherism and the use of touts.”
It said Obaseki had no godfather, adding that he would not loot the treasury.
PDP hailed the monarchs and Edo North Senatorial District people for their warm reception during the campaigns.
It urged residents to re-elect the governor.
The party said from today (Monday), it would begin campaigns in Edo Central Senatorial District, which it described as its stronghold.
APC, through its Publicity Secretary, Chris Azebamwan, said it was a mark of ignorance for PDP and its spokesman (Nehikhare) to accuse APC leaders of printing PVCs.
It said: “Any politician who does that (printing of PVCs) will be wasting his/her time and money, because INEC’s card readers will reject the fake PVCs.
“PDP leaders are trying to distract and deceive Edo people and other Nigerians about their plot to rig the September 19 governorship election, but it will be an exercise in futility. Edo residents and other Nigerians should ignore the antics, propaganda, misinformation and disinformation of Nehikhare and other members of PDP.”