Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised the alarm on an alleged plot by All Progressives Congress (APC) to use the judiciary to halt the September 19 governorship election in Edo State.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, told journalists yesterday at the National Secretariat of the party in Abuja that APC has concluded plans to file a suit before the High Court in Benin to stop the election.
PDP spokesman called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to investigate the cause of the fire outbreak in its Ondo State office in Akure, stating that it was part of the process to discredit and rig the October 10 governorship election in the state.
According to him, some people want to use frivolous lawsuit to scuttle the September 19 Edo State governorship election, following APC’s realisation that there’s no way it could win in the election.
He said it was revealed to PDP that some interests who are masquerading through certain political groups are seeking to blackmail the judiciary and stampede the court to violate the clear provisions of the Electoral Act and illegally halt the election.
He said: “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 election by 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 cannon fodders by selfish individuals and groups to manipulate the courts and frustrate the electoral process against the interest of the people,” PDP spokesman said.
Ologbondiyan added: “It is, therefore, clear that the aim of APC is to use the political groups to drag in the judiciary, trigger constitutional crisis in Edo State, the Niger Delta region and the nation at large and blame it on the court.
“APC’s calculation is a re-enactment of the similar judicial quagmire that led to the scuttling of 1993 general election, a development that led to a serious national crisis that almost destroyed the corporate existence of our country.”
PDP, he explained, stands with the people of Edo State in condemning this plot by APC to derail the democratic order, scuttle the governorship election, create an emergency situation, forcefully seize power and foist an undemocratic and oppressive regime 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 September 19 and will vehemently resist any attempt by anybody to tamper with the schedule of election or attempt a forceful takeover of their state,” he said.
Ologbondiyan also said PDP has been informed of the drafting of soldiers to the GRA, Benin and Iyamho residences of the former APC national chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole.
“Our party holds that it is indecorous, shameful and sinful on the part of APC and the Buhari Presidency to leave the flanks of our people in Katsina, Kaduna, Benue, Yobe, Adamawa, Sokoto, Kogi states open to bandits while soldiers are guarding the residence of suspended Oshiomhole just to enable him to perpetrate electoral heist.
“Not even in the face of our current insecurity should such an impudent and inconsiderate action be considered,” he stated.
PDP called on President Muhammadu Buhari, as the Commander-in-Chief to immediately withdraw the troops from Oshiomhole’s residence and deploy them in their constitutional duty post in the interest of the nation.
He expressed the preparedness of PDP and its candidate, Governor Godwin Obaseki, for the election, saying: “We counsel APC to stop wasting its time in the court and take steps to withdraw from the contest if it is not ready to face the crushing defeat that awaits it and its candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, on September 19.”
PDP called on INEC to investigate the fire incident in its Akure office where over 5,143 Smart Card Readers were destroyed last week.