PDP warns of ploy to use PVCs of dead persons during election

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of planning to use the PVCs of “dead voters” to shore up votes in the coming elections.

The party’s National Chairman, Uche Secondus made the accusation on Thursday at a World Press Conference which marks the end of Presidential and National Assembly campaigns in Abuja

His accusation comes barely 24 hours after the Chairman of the main opposition party, All Progressives Congress (APC) – Adams Oshiomhole, alleged that the electoral commission is working for the PDP.

Mr Oshiomhole was reacting to allegations by the PDP that the APC is behind the fire incidents in INEC’s offices in different states of Nigeria.

He had cited the commission’s decision to ban APC from presenting candidates in Zamfara State as evidence of INEC’s alleged collusion with the PDP.

PDP’s accusations
In a statement sent to us, Mr Secondus said the abuse of PVCs is the evidence of bad faith by those managing the election and the government of the day.

“The voters’ register contains the data of dead voters. Permanent Voters Cards for dead voters were printed and distributed nationwide.

“Government data show that the gross death rate in Nigeria is 12.5 per 1000 lives. We have evidence that over 1,050,051 dead voters will vote in this election.

“The decision that dead voters will cast ballots has been taken by INEC and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The idea of ghost voters is consistent with the nature of this virtual President,” he said.

He also accused the electoral commission of manipulating the voters register as he said it (INEC) did not, in fact, do a cleanup of the register of voters before it published it.

“In previous INEC administrations, this eventuality was mitigated by administrative arrangements wherein a voter did accreditation in the morning and voted in the afternoon – so if a voter wanted to vote twice, say at A and B, they would have to go to A and get accredited, then go to B and also get accredited, and then go back to A to vote and the then go to B to vote – an onerous regimen that prevented cultivating.

“In the new continuous voting regime, this administrative support measure has been disposed of specifically to facilitate multiple voting by a huge number of APC voters,” he said.

Mr Secondus also said there has been a coordinated approach to register foreigners as voters, mainly from Niger and Cameroon.

That, he said, is why INEC has established so many polling units along the border with Cameroon and Niger – despite the fact that population data does not justify the move.

He accused the APC of spending extravagant amounts for advertisement, billboards and rally.

Misuse of State Resources
He said despite resources being deployed to set up an electronic system to announce results, this has been ruled out by INEC.

“Mainly because the president himself has refused to sign the law that would have made this possible. The plan is to announce results in the way it was done recently in the Democratic Republic of Congo where the winner was declared the loser and the loser was declared the winner.”

According to Mr Secondus, “sources close to the PDP”, say the APC, in conjunction with INEC, through their ICT situation room has concluded plans to manipulate the outcome of Saturday’s election in some ways.

“By deliberately corrupting the INEC voters register to induce voters’ suppression in PDP’s stronghold operations areas with the aim of disenfranchising voters through corrupting of their names on the voters’ register.”

He said the strategy is to create artificial problems wherein “at least four registered voters can be disfranchised in PDP stronghold areas”.

“The target is to adequately limit the estimated members of PDP who would want to vote in their areas.

“By disrupting Internet services and jam(ming) cell tower coverage ostensibly to prevent Nigerians from covering the elections via social media.”

He said there is also confirmed intelligence showing that critical PDP players in this election “are to be earmarked, arrested and quarantined to a particular location to give way for the elections to be rigged”.

The other intelligence, he said, shows that some para-military and military operatives particularly the Army and Police have been produced in large numbers for use by civilians during the voting period.

“By sending faulty card reader machines to certain identified PDP strongholds and record a deliberate slow screening of voters to frustrate and discourage them.

“They have packaged large sums of foreign currency to induce voters and security and INEC operatives.

“We also have on good authority that all the electoral frauds via the ICT which the APC has mapped out are being coordinated by a highly placed government official with the help of some foreigners inside an apartment in the government house and other locations in Kaduna state,” he said.

He said the Buhari-led administration is determined to subvert the impartiality of security agencies.

He also said the government recently moved some of its personnel to areas along the border, “where they will be employed to create violence, stuff ballots, and aid non-Nigerians to vote in a predetermined manner”.

Demands
The PDP chairman called on the ruling government to respect the will of the people.

He urged INEC to call an immediate meeting of the political parties participating in the presidential election to appoint representatives drawn from the parties that will oversee their work.

He asked the electoral commission to clean up their voters register and “retain for accreditations and voting during the elections only credible voters register”.

For the security agencies, he asked that they remain unbiased, fair and transparent.

He also asked them to stop unwarranted harassment and intimidation of the opposition.

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