APC, PDP disagree over alleged plan to rig polls in Niger

FOLLOWING a statement by Niger State Governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu that the electorate should accept the outcome of the forthcoming elections, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state has alleged that there is a plan by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rig the forthcoming elections in Niger.

   APC also said that the ruling party is planning this in collaboration with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Department of State Security Service (DSS) and other security agencies to declare fake and fictitious results contrary to the people’s wish.

   APC in a press statement in Minna on Thursday, signed by the party’s publicity secretary, Jonathan Vatsa, pointed out that the recent statement by the governor, and leader of the party in the state, Dr. Babangida Aliyu that Nigerians should accept any result of the election declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission is pointer to the fact that the ruling PDP is out to rig the election.

   The party viewed the comment by the governor as not only undemocratic but a clear message that the PDP has made up its mind to declare any result and want Nigerians to accept it in good fate.

   Vatsa insisted that, “it is now clear that the PDP in the state has lost the hope of winning the coming elections in a free and fair contest because of the receptions it has received from the people and the ongoing decamping of its members (over 300 of them in one week) to APC and has therefore resulted to rigging as the only way out.”

   APC in the statement also appealed to all its supporters who are yearning for genuine change from bad governance “to ensure that they did not only collect their PVC cards, they should come out to vote and protect their votes.

   But in a swift reaction, the state governor described the allegation as unfortunate.

   A press statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Israel A. Ebije, said that APC should be held responsible for any political violence in the state, adding that the statement by the governor was a mere appeal to the people of the state to eschew any form of political violence and accept the outcome of the February election.

   According to the statement, “How can the statement of Governor Aliyu calling on people to eschew violence and accept outcome of the next general elections be viewed as plans to rig? It is indeed very sad for any responsible political party to be directing the thinking of its supporters towards a violent poll despite efforts by leadership of the PDP and APC at the centre to have peaceful elections.

   “It must therefore be made categorically clear that Niger chapter of the APC is preparing for a violent poll. We must therefore hold them responsible, especially now that the party is blackmailing the governor, PDP and INEC even before the election.”

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