Nigeria's main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) of planning to rig the 2019 general election with the use of underage voters, manipulation of voters' data and creation of new polling units.
The party also claimed the Independent National Election Commission for is collaborating with APC in the rigging plan.
PDP, in a statement released by its national spokesperson, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, on Monday claimed that a cabal within the presidency has already directed INEC, to conceal the report of investigation it carried out on underage voting in Kano and Katsina States for this purpose.
The statement reads, “We charge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to stop covering the atrocities of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by making public its findings on underage voters in various states, particularly Kano and Katsina. We are aware that the investigation unearthed a multitude of underage voters, particularly in Kano and Katsina, but that INEC has been instructed by the APC and the Presidency cabal to conceal the atrocity, which they plan to use to rig the 2019 presidential election for President Muhammadu Buhari. Our investigation reveals that beyond underage voters, the INEC panel discovered other atrocities, which the APC and the Presidency agents have been suppressing.”
The party also claimed INEC is already collaborating with APC to rig the 2019 general election through various ways.
“We are also aware of the manipulation in INEC’s computer data center, which has been handed over to a compromised official known to be related to President Buhari.
"Nigerians are shocked that the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu is allowing the APC and the Presidency cabal to use him in their desperation to rig the 2019 election for President Buhari despite his overt rejection by the citizens as a result of the failures of his administration.
"Only last week, Nigerians were stunned by revelations that INEC under Prof. Yakubu is plotting to create 30,000 illegal polling centers in soft and compromised areas through which they plan to allocate free votes for President Buhari. This is in addition to plots to compromise other voting processes including the card readers to favour the APC.”
The party then charged the general public to take note of the actions of the ruling party: “We invite Nigerians and the international community to note the various attempts by INEC to conceal the underage voters, particularly, in Kano and President Buhari’s home state, Katsina.
"When the issue first came to the public domain, the APC issued a staunch defence while INEC blamed the Kano state government. The commission had to back down to institute an inquest when confronted with facts showing that it registered the minors.
"Furthermore, Prof. Yakubu refused to allow for an all-inclusive panel of political parties and credible NGOs but went ahead to hand pick INEC officials with a view to cover the illegality.” The party said.
PDP therefore urged Prof. Yakubu, to resist being used by the APC while, showing greater transparency in the activities of INEC: “Nigerians may recall that when we challenged the veracity of the preliminary report with documentary evidence, INEC promised to make public its final findings, but has refused to do so since the end of the inquest.
"We charge Prof. Yakubu to find the strength to resist the pressure by the APC and its Presidency or quit the office, as they will definitely put him on collusion course with Nigerians, who are already anxious about this election and are ready to stiffly resist anything short of credible, free and fair polls.”