Mr. Frank Nweke Jr., the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in Enugu State, has made some strong allegations.
Nweke, on Friday, alleged that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has perfected plans to rig the March 11 governorship election.
DAILY POST reported that the PDP suffered a heavy defeat during Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections in the State.
Nweke, who spoke to journalists at his campaign office, said he had alerted all the various arms of security agencies.
He alleged that there were plans by the PDP in Enugu State “to compromise INEC officials and adhoc staff to bypass the use of BVAS and generally disrupt the governorship and house of assembly elections in the state through the use of thugs to cause mayhem, with a view to dispersing voters at polling units in order to have opportunity to rig the elections, subvert the will of the people to achieve victory at all costs.”
He said since suffering massive losses across the state on February 25, 2023, “the PDP has held series of meetings at various locations to perfect their nefarious plans to ensure that they disrupt the electoral process, compromise INEC staff and deploy maximum violence.
“A source that attended the meetings reported that they lamented that they were falsely led into believing that BVAS was impregnable by INEC and that manual voting was impossible.
“According to them, events in Port Harcourt and some parts of the country had demonstrated otherwise, and that they must now take advantage of it by deploying sums of money to compromise INEC staff, buy votes and cause maximum violence to scare voters who do not vote for them and intimidate others into voting for them against their will.
“They have therefore resolved to buy INEC staff to sabotage the elections as described above, and also to specifically ensure that the original result sheets are neither brought to the polling units nor the ward and local government collation centres.
“Since the IREV malfunctioned last Saturday, they reasoned that they would calmly write new results when the representatives of other political parties disperse at various collation centres in the belief that results had been announced.”
Nweke mentioned a female INEC staff, who he said had for several years been the liaison between the PDP and INEC officials.
“It would appear that the relationship has been groomed for years in preparation for this election.
“We have also been informed that sums running into hundreds of millions have been exchanged over the years and through third-party agents to conceal the money trail,” he claimed.
He added that the said INEC was under obligation to do everything in her power to ensure the declaration of Peter Mbah as the next Governor of Enugu State.
“Currently, INEC maintains a secret office at a located at Independence Layout for this purpose
“They have also reportedly recruited the security agencies into their plot. The role of the security services is purportedly for them not to show up when they start causing mayhem at polling units and collation centres until they have accomplished their wicked plans.
“Furthermore, they have secured substantial numbers of ‘election duty’ stickers and plan to use that to evade security by moving around in vehicles on which these stickers are pasted.
“They have also produced Security Systems Uniforms for thugs to disguise as escorts to INEC personnel from the point of dispatch to a pre-arranged location where rigging will be carried out using the non-collected PVCs of voters across the 17 Local Government Areas.”
He vowed that the APGA in Enugu would do all that is possible “to guarantee the safety of our people, ensure that you exercise your right to vote on March 11 and see that your vote is protected.
“We will not take lightly any plans to subvert or abuse the democratic process.”
But reacting, the Director of Communications/Spokesperson
Enugu PDP Campaign Council, Barr. Nana Ogbodo said Nweke was already giving excuses for his expected abysmal performance in the forthcoming election.
The party described Nweke’s allegations as a disingenuous effort at preemptive excuses for his expected abysmal outing in the election.
It said Nweke’s impact on the March 11 polls “ends with making preposterous conjectures, nothing that the race is clearly above his ken as he has all the while been boxing above his weight.”
The party said Nweke had only succeeded in making the ballot papers longer than necessary.
The statement read in part: “We would ordinarily not dignify Nweke with a response because his impact on the forthcoming general elections begins and ends with congesting and making the ballot papers longer than necessary.
“He is therefore only laying the formwork of excuses for his expected abysmal outing in the governorship poll.
“Nweke went into APGA ostensibly on the wrong permutation that PDP’s governorship ticket would go outside Nkanu land so he could harvest from the expected anger of the people. Unfortunately for him, events mocked at his foresight as that was not to be.
“We therefore advise Nweke to climb down from this high horse and first present himself for a popularity test in his hometown, Ozalla, before pursuing an illusionary governorship ambition.
“Perhaps, as a former Minister of Information, who defended perceived electoral deficits in the 2007 election and engaged in hot exchanges with the then Senate President, Ken Nnamani and the international communities on the conduct of the election in Enugu or as former Chief of Staff, who may have meddled with the electoral processes as he alluded in his press release, Nweke is still unaware that the Electoral Act 2022 has effectively put a stop to whatever ignoble roles he might have been playing in the past.
“We also reckon that Nweke, who has been a senior stakeholder and a major beneficiary of successive PDP governments until March 2022 when he embarked on his delusional governorship voyage on the platform of APGA will ultimately return to the umbrella after his crushing defeat on March 11.”