The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday said the agents of Governor Yahaya Bello and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are threatening and forcing Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) presiding officers, including National Youth Service Corps(NYSC) members to endorse prefilled results sheets in favour of the APC, in some local government areas, ahead of the election.
The party in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said it confirmed that the incident is occured in Okene and Okehi local government areas in Kogi Central Senatorial district, where it claimed the governor and the APC are desperate to allocate fictitious votes and fabricate results in their favour.
“Given the magnitude of the manipulation, the PDP urges INEC not to
accept any results coming from the Okene and Okehi local government
areas as they have already been compromised. Moreover, the PDP and other stakeholders in this election will never accept manipulated results
coming from the two local government areas,” Ologbondiyan said.
The party also called on security agencies to immediately detail a
reinforced team to Okene and Okehi to save the lives of the presiding
officers and the NYSC members from the APC and agents of Governor Bello.
He said:”INEC and security officials must take immediate steps to arrest the
situation as the development is already causing tension and could lead
to the electorate having no option than to resort to self-help to defend
their democratic rights.
“The PDP also urges INEC to note that the APC is manipulating the
electoral process, causing deliberate delays and swapping of election
materials, all in a bid to cause confusion in the process.
“For instance, in Kabba/Bunu Okekoko Ward Unit 9, the baby units have
been reduced from two to one, a situation that will lead to
disenfranchising of voters to reduce votes belonging to the PDP.”
The party also claimed the serial number on the ballot papers brought to the area is different from numbers on ballot papers released in Abuja for the area, adding that such swapping of ballot papers is a deliberate ploy to cause confusion and derail the electoral process in PDP stronghold.
Ologbondiyan urged INEC to immediately correct all the anomalies as every genuine vote cast must be made to count in the election.
Meanwhile, the INEC Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye,has said that election results from polling units where there were reported cases of ballot box snatching may be cancelled depending on reports from the presiding officer in such units.
Okoye stated that the commission was not aware of the allegation made by PDP that Governor Yahaya Bello and the APC was forcing the commission’s presiding officers to sign prefilled results.
The INEC National Commissioner said if there are areas where ballot box snatching was reported, the presiding officer is expected to write a report on such incident to the Electoral Officer(EO), stating the issues and how they fill into the guidelines.
According to him, the report from the presiding officers from such units wil help the commission to determine whether the results from such units would be cancelled outrightly or whether a rerun would be ordered or whether the unit would be awarded a zero score.
He further stated that until such reports is recieved from the officers on the field, the commission willl not take any decision on the issue.
He said: “We have some Resident and National Commissioners and other senior staff of the commission on the field. They are doing their job in accordance to the law.
“We are not aware of such and if an incident of such is taking place, there will be a report because we have some Resident Electoral Commissioners supervising a cluster of local government areas. We also have some of our senior staff and National Commissioners out there in the field. So, there is a channel through which people can report. So, if a thing of such ishappening, we wil have a report immediately.”