The Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress on Thursday accused each other of plotting to unleash violence on the people and rig the rerun in the Essien Udim Local Government of Akwa Ibom State scheduled for Saturday.
Both parties claimed that they had intelligence on how the police had been compromised to unleash mayhem in favour of the APC and the PDP
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in statement said a DIG had allegedly promised a serving minister that with proper funding, he would do “the same thing that was done in Bayelsa State during the November 17, 2019 governorship election” in favour of the APC.
Ologbondiyan said, “As part of the strategy, the DIG promised to deploy a more senior Commissioner of Police than the one in Akwa Ibom State to take charge of the command.”
He added that part of the plot was to seek the transfer of the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Mike Iginni, and replace him with an already compromised official.
Ologbondiyan said, “We are concerned about the plot to deploy huge number of policemen into a local government and put them under the control of such an officer as a DIG.
“It is extremely suspect, as past experiences across the nation had shown that such deployments led to violent confrontations, killings, maiming and massive intimidations of voters that only aided election riggers and other anti-democratic forces to compromise electoral processes.”
However, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena, said Igini, planned to frustrate the party.
Nabena in a statement faulted Igini for fixing the election into the state constituency in Essein Udim Local Government Area on Saturday without a valid order of the court.
He said, “It is on record that Senator Godswill Akpabio challenged INEC and the Court of Appeal upheld his appeal, nullified the PDP’s fraudulent victory and ordered retrieval of the certificate of return given to the PDP senator by INEC.
“However, the Court of Appeal ordered repeat election in only Essein Udim Local Government Area of the state, Senator Akpabio’s LGA.
“Senator Akpabio now a Minister of Niger Delta Affairs has opted out of the repeat election citing his current higher responsibilities to the nation and the continuous occupation of INEC office by a compromised REC.”