The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), on Wednesday, advised both the regular and adhoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against rigging the poll in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, who disclosed that the party was now “fully aware that the commission, in collaboration with security forces, intends to rig the election.”
“We wish to make it clear to all, especially INEC officials, both regular and adhoc, that the atmosphere in Bayelsa is already charged and that any of them, who in any way allows himself to be used for manipulation, would be doing so at his own peril,” Metuh warned.
According to him, “We are all aware of the marching order handed down to the new INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, at his furtive meeting with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, to rig Kogi and Bayelsa elections in favour of APC, but we wish to let the commission know that attempting so in Bayelsa will have huge repercussions.”
“Professor Yakubu and all INEC officials involved in Bayelsa election must note the fact that the state has unique political characteristics and its resistance level to electoral injustice and fraud comes with dreadful costs.”
“INEC should not pretend to be oblivious of the political terrain and volatile nature of Baylelsa State, especially given the recent history of militancy and as such should hold itself responsible, should there be any breakdown of law and order in the state.”
Metuh, who said that INEC intended to rig the election as was done in the October 31 Borno senatorial bye-election, declared that “the nation is aware of the electoral fraud in Borno State.
“Nevertheless, the National Working Committee of the PDP wishes to declare to INEC and all security agencies that the people of Bayelsa State and our members have been fully rallied in their numbers to combat, head to head, any move by anybody or group whatsoever to rig the December 5 governorship election,” he stated .
Metuh equally warned all the security personnel that would be involved in the conduct of the Bayelsa election “to keep to the dictates of their constitutional role of peripheral security in elections” and not allow themselves to be used against the wishes of the people.
According to him, “In the same vein, we are privy to the fact that some partisan security operatives have been deployed to Bayelsa State to help rig the election, but let it be known that no amount of force can subdue our people.”
“Our members and supporters in Bayelsa State are not afraid and cannot be intimidated by guns. They will come out in their numbers to exercise their franchise and to defend their votes fully. We therefore caution the military and other security forces to keep to the dictates of their constitutional role of peripheral security in elections.