Peace Network Initiative, a human rights group, says it has uncovered plans by the ruling All Progressives Congress to rig governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states slated for November and December
PEACE Network Initiative, PNI, a civil rights organisation, on Sunday, October 4, said it had uncovered plot to rig the forthcoming governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
The advocacy group promoting non-violence, peace and development, said in a statement by Chidi Azuka, its national secretary, in Abuja, that some powerful vested interests were on top of the plot to rig elections in the two states in favour of the All Progressives Congress, APC, which are in the opposition in both states.
The PNI stated that names of some the APC registered members were being compiled to serve as key officials to conduct the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states. It also revealed that in order to ensure the success of the rigging plot, some senior security officials in the strategic agencies would be deployed to oversee the elections.
The security officials, the group further claimed, were already being put together with a clear instruction “to deliver APC candidates in Kogi and Bayelsa.” It was also revealed that the entire plot has a “strategic link” with the presidential race in 2019, with the understanding that both Bayelsa and Kogi states would be key to advancing the electoral fortunes of the APC and as such “all necessary steps” must be taken to win the states in the next round of elections.
The PNI, which condemned the plot, warned the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to be at alert, stating that the rigging plot was real and being co-ordinated by a powerful politician in the South West region of the country.
But the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, in its reaction, warned that it would resist any attempts by anyone, body or institution of the APC-led federal government to rig the election in Bayelsa State in favour of the APC candidate.
In a statement by Bobolaiyefa Owopele, chairman of the IYC, Central Zone, the organisation called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure a credible, free and fair election in the December 5 polls.
It said a credible election was the minimum expectation for peace and order, noting that the federal government should emulate the PDP-led government under former President Godluck Jonathan, which established and operated vital institutions which conducted transparent elections in which Buhari became a major beneficiary.
“The case of Bayelsa State is peculiar given the facts of history. If APC aspirants can mutually trade such wanton violence among themselves as we saw recently, it simply suggest that there is every likelihood it will unleash even more devilish attacks during the governorship election proper. Needless to say such eventuality will not augur well for the peace and tranquillity of the state,” Owopele said.
— Oct 5, 2015 @ 17:50 GMT