The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday warned that the people of Edo state would resist any attempt to tamper with the Sept. 19 date of the state governorship election.
The National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, said at a news conference in Abuja on Sunday that there were plots by certain interests to use frivolous lawsuits to scuttle the scheduled election date.
“The said interests, masquerading through certain political groups, were seeking to blackmail the judiciary and stampede the court to violate the clear provisions of the Electoral Act and illegally halt the Edo election.
“Nigerians are already aware that Section 87(10) (11) of the Electoral Act clearly prohibits the courts from restraining the conduct of party primaries and general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“This section of the Electoral Act has put paid to situations in the past, where groups or individuals, who have no real stake in elections, were used as canon fodders by selfish individuals and groups to manipulate the courts and frustrate the electoral process against the interest of the people,’’ he said.
Ologbondiyan said that the PDP stood with the people of Edo state in condemning the plot to derail the democratic order, scuttle the governorship election and create an emergency situation in the state.
“Our party, therefore, cautions such unpatriotic persons to note that the people of Edo state are ready to go to the poll on Sept. 19 and will vehemently resist any attempt by anybody to tamper with the schedule of election or attempt a forceful takeover of their state.’’
Ologbondiyan also alleged that the PDP had been informed of the deployment of soldiers to the residence of an APC chieftain at GRA Benin and Iyamho, ahead of the state election.
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately withdraw the troops that were allegedly deployed to their constitutional duty posts in the interest of Nigeria.
The PDP spokesman also condemned the fire incident at the INEC head office in Akure, Ondo state.
He said that the destruction of INEC sensitive equipment was aimed at frustrating the conduct of credible, free and fair governorship election in the state.
Ologbondiyan alleged that it was not by accident that the fire occurred in no other place than the facility where sensitive materials, such as card readers, were stored.
He recalled that the fire incident lead to the destruction of no fewer than 5,141 card readers meant for the election.
He called on the security agencies to prevent any further attacks on other INEC facilities, aimed at crippling the commission and impeding the conduct of a credible poll.
Ologbondiyan said that the PDP would intensely monitor the process of replacement of the burnt card readers by INEC.
He said that the monitoring was to frustrate any machination to manipulate the programming of the new card readers to suit any plot to compromise sensitive data in the existing voter register in Ondo State.