Barely four days to gubernatorial, state assembly and supplementary
elections, the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau
State claimed it has unearthed plans by ruling All Progressives
Congress (APC) to rig the polls.
The PDP also said it has detailed information on local government
areas and locations the APC intend to execute their “wicked plans”.
Addressing journalists at the state secretariat of the party in Jos,
chairman of the party, Hon. Damishi Sango, said, the ruling APC in the
state intended to use military personnel to intimidate the citizenry,
especially in Southern Plateau.
Sango said, “Intelligence reports available to us indicate that the
ruling APC and its governorship candidate, Governor Simon Lalong, are
busy working on plans to rig the elections.
“Acting true to their genetic make-ups, and realizing now they may
not get the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state to
dance to their tune of music in some electoral areas, they have kept
themselves busy in the last one week at the old Government House,
Rayfield perfecting their rigging strategies.
“As I address you, we have detailed information on specific Local
Government Areas and locations in Central Zone where they intend to
execute their wicked plans.
“These include outright use of already thumb-printed ballot papers,
intimidation and harassment of voters at both polling points and
collation centres, collusion with electoral and security agents to cause
the late arrival of materials and deliberate tempering with voting
According to him, “In the southern zone, they intend to the military
to cause fear amongst our people, especially in Shendam and Quaan Pan
Local Government Areas.
The chairman further explained that, as is the case with southern
zone as aforementioned, so also in the Northern zone; “Here they plan to
cause fear amongst the voters and thereafter smuggle in the already
thumb-printed ballot papers.
He also alleged that, the APC led government in the state has
threatened to sack civil servants ranging from the rank of Directors,
Deputy Directors and School Principals if they don’t deliver their areas
to the governor.
The PDP chairman, however, said, “We know that no matter their level
of desperation and the perfection of their manipulations, unless they
receive the cooperation of INEC their efforts will come to naught.
“But INEC also coming under serious public scrutiny, we are confident
that Governor Lalong and his ruling APC are embarking on a fruitless
adventure”, he maintained.
“It is shameful that one who swore to defend the people and all they
stand for has chosen to go all out against them”, he decried.
The chairman appealed to the electorate to leave behind the pains
that followed the cancellation of their votes in certain areas, and
appeal to them to join forces with those who want the progress of the
state, to restore the lost glory of the state, by coming out enmass to
vote for Senator Jeremiah Useni as Governor, and all other PDP
Reacting to the allegations raised, Senior Special Assistant on Media
and Publicity to the Governor, and member of the APC Campaign Council
in the State, Mark Longyen, said, “It is absolutely frivolous, false,
very ridiculous and a figment of the imagination of the PDP opposition
elements who authored the so-called statement, which I would describe as
mere ‘hate speech’ towards Governor Lalong.
Longyen said, “Alleging that the Governor took part in a meeting
aimed at ballot box snatching, card-reader manipulation, voters’
inducement, vote-buying and causing violence, among others, is not just
ridiculous but also the height of political propaganda, political
chicanery and sheer mischief.
According to him, “The opposition PDP should concentrate on their
futile attempt to return to power to continue with their looting spree,
instead of maligning the person of the governor because such shenanigans
are well known to the electorate who cannot be fooled.
“They should face the reality of defeat in Saturday’s governorship
elections that is staring them in the face and refrain from the politics
of blackmailing the incumbent governor and officials of the electoral
umpire,” he stressed.