Media and Politics

Kogi Polls: INEC, PDP Clash

The Kogi State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission on Sunday engaged in war of words over the upcoming gubernatorial polls in the state scheduled to hold on Saturday 22.
The PDP claimed that it was aware of alleged secret meetings involving the Presidency, the Commission and some security forces wherein the agencies were ordered to use official and unofficial means necessary to ensure victory for the ruling All Progressives Congress.
However, the commission said there was no meeting held anywhere between the two bodies, and challenged the PDP to publish the details of the alleged meeting.
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But a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, the party “has incontrovertible records of separate meetings, last week between the Presidency and the new INEC leadership as well as with some top security officers.”
Metuh alleged further that the “meetings were coordinated by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal,” who he further alleged, boasted that he had President Muhammadu Buhari’s orders to ensure that Kogi State be snatched from the PDP by all means.
He added that alleged intelligence information available to him and his party showed that at the meeting with the new INEC leadership under Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the commission was given orders to post compromised personnel to strategic areas in the state to manipulate the card readers as well as the actual voting process in favour of the APC, with assurance of adequate protection by government security agencies, particularly the Directorate of State Services.
“We are aware that in another meeting also held in Abuja, the Presidency directed security officials to ensure that the forces are maximally used to intimidate the people with a view to paving the way for compromised INEC officials to manipulate the process, alter ballot figures and announce doctored results,” Metuh said in a statement.
But the commission said that it was surprised at the PDP’s allegation, saying no such meeting was held between its officials and security agencies or the Presidency.
The spokesperson for the commission, Mr. Nick Dazan, described the allegation as untrue, saying “since the chairman assumed office, he has been busy having meetings with officials of the commission. It is curious that such an unfounded allegation would come at this time. The chairman of the commission has promised to be fair, just and that he would conduct free, fair and credible elections.”

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