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Osun By-election: PDP Threatens to Confront INEC If July 8 Election is Shifted

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By: Tunde Oyekola, Osogbo.

In the countdown to the Osun West Senatorial By-election, scheduled to hold on July 8, 2017, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday said it would confront the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should it attempt to postpone the Osun West Senatorial bye-election.

It also raised the alarm over the alleged plan of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state to scuttle the process of free, fair and credible poll.

At a press conference addressed by its Chairman, Mr. Soji Adagunodo in Osogbo, the party alleged that the APC had in the last one week been mounting pressure on INEC to shift the date of the election by at least two weeks as was done in Edo State in September 2016.

Mr Adagunodo said should the election be moved forward from the scheduled date, the party would engage INEC in court.

The party chairman, however, advised INEC to refuse the APC request as doing so would compromise its integrity and cast a great doubt on its independence as an electoral umpire.

He also alleged that some electoral officers are conniving with scores of APC chieftains to disenfranchise eligible voters at the strongholds of the PDP,  by allegedly deleting their names from the voters’ list.

He further alleged that the party had concluded plans to distort the allocation of ballot papers in such a manner that  those meant for specific local governments, wards and poling units are diverted to wrong locations so as to delay the commencement of voting and disenfranchise many.

Also, the PDP chairman also condemned the allegation that some chieftains of APC had “procured the service of notorious thugs from within and outside the state to unleash violence in  Ede North, Ede South, Egbedore, Irewole, Iwo and Ayedaade local governments on election day.”

“The APC election strategy committee is conniving with certain elements in the INEC to recruit O YES cadets and other party sympathisers as presiding officers and polling clerks. Part of the plans is to provide  fake NYSC uniforms and distribute same to these elements in order to make them carry out this nefarious plan.

“There are plans by the APC to ensure that INEC allocate non-functioning card readers to area considered as stronghold of PDP. This, in their thinking, would slow down accreditation of voters and get voters discouraged.

” We have credible information about the plans of APC and the state government to arrange the kidnap and or arrest of leaders of the PDP in certain local government on the eve of July 8th by-election.

“As we speak, certain chieftains of APC have compiled names of their party members and sympathisers to be accredited by INEC as election observers and monitors.

“You will recalled  that 181 of these same elements from Osun State were arrested somewhere in Imo State in 2013, while traveling as fake observers for the Anambra governorship election,” he said.

Adagunodo thereafter alleged the APC candidate in the election,  Senator Mudashir Hussein, of clandestine plan to bring thousands of non-residents from Abidjan, Cotonou, Togo and Ghana as voters, the process which he alleged would commence this week.

He therefore assured his party members and supporters in the ten local governments that make up the senatorial district of efforts at the National headquarters of PDP to guarantee credible exercise, saying, “we shall not allow anyone no matter how highly placed to subvert the freewill of the electorate”.

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