By Samuel Ogundipe
Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, the Hon. Minister of State, Foreign Affairs II, has called on Mr. Akin Orebiyi, the Lagos State Resident Electoral Commissioner, to ensure that all results announced by his commission are true reflection of what transpired at every polling unit across the state, as collation of votes enters day-two.
He alleges that reports from across the state revealed that there were numerous cases of ballot box snatching and voter intimidation throughout the exercise on Saturday, blaming the alleged irregularities on APC’s attempt to rig out his party’s candidate, Jimi Agbaje.
Speaking in an interview with the Western Post early Sunday, Obanikoro, a PDP chieftain, said his party has strong indications that APC leaders had tampered with the results while they were being collated overnight, a situation he said will be an unmitigated disaster for the country’s nascent democracy if INEC allowed it to stand.
“We have overwhelming evidence to show that the powers that be in Lagos are making a concerted effort to override the wishes and decisions of Lagosians at the ballot box yesterday,” he said. “We’re not going to allow this to stand because there’s no way APC could have won the governorship election after all the results from polling units from across the state had already shown that they were shellacked in most of the 20 local government areas in the state.”
He called on INEC to look into the complaints of the party, as filed from polling units and collation centers from across the state, before accepting results from each local government area.
“We’ve complained to INEC and made our position clear that we will not accept results from many ward collation centers where ballot boxes were snatched and later filled with already-thumb printed ballot papers and we strongly believe that they’ll not take our objections with levity.”
“For example, in Ijede Ward, Ikorodu, APC agent in connivance with INEC official pushed our (PDP) agent overboard in the boat that was conveying recorded votes to the collation center. What do you expect to happen in such a circumstance?”
“Also at Egbeda, the Elegbeda’s Palace turned into a rigging frenzy with INEC staff thumb printing for ballots for the APC.”
He said alleged APC thugs spent the Election Day invading PDP strongholds across the state, a development he said is “an orchestrated conspiracy by APC leaders to use violence to nullify our victory.”
“One of the well known APC thugs is a character named Jayprom, or something, who was moving about with his ilk shooting at PDP supporters around the state.”
He called on the supporters of the party in the state to “remain calm in anticipation of victory for their candidate, Mr. Jimi Agbaje.”
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has been widely rumored to have won the elections with many media houses (Not WP) already declaring him winner. INEC has maintained that it is the only authority in the land that has the power to pronounce results of elections.