It’s false, says INEC commissioner
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Edo State chapter yesterday alleged a plot to manipulate the September 19 governorship election by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and the party’s former National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
The PDP said Ize-Iyamu and Oshiomhole were allegedly colluding with an Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) National Commissioner, Dr. Mustapha Lecky, to engage ad-hoc staff for the election. Speaking during a press conference, the state’s Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Chris Nehikhare, alleged that the polling of ficers, who are supposed to be members of the National Youth Service Corps (NSYC) were changed, alleging that it was Oshiomhole and Ize-Iyamu that were nominating people. He alleged that Lecky was also engaged in influencing the engagement of persons, “with personal ties with Oshiomhole and Ize- Iyamu, to rig the election in favour of the APC during the polls and undermine the electoral process.” Nehikhare said: “The time-honoured tradition which mandates that all political parties involved in the electioneering process submit names of persons to be used as ad-hoc staff is being abused by Dr. Lecky and his collaborators in the APC.
“While we have confidence in the INEC as an institution, we are calling on them to rein in Dr. Lecky and his likes, in order to have an election that would uphold the will of the people and one that they can be proud of. “We hereby call on the INEC leadership to review the process of selecting these officials and request that Dr. Lecky excuse himself from the process as his activities have been revealed to be threatening the integrity of the process, which will taint the outcome of the election.”
However, the Publicity Secretary of APC, Mr. Chris Azebamwan, in a reaction, said: “This is a phantom and imaginary transaction, I can tell you authoritatively that the APC has not and cannot delve into the affairs of a statutory body recognised by the electoral law to conduct elections in this country.
“This is another ploy by the PDP and Governor Obaseki to distract Nigerians and Edo people from the matter at hand. “Obaseki is the outgoing governor, he should be preparing his handover notes instead of misleading the people because he is aware of his obvious imminent defeat so there is no truth in this frivolous allegation let alone submit names of persons to be used as ad-hoc staff is being abused by Dr. Lecky and his collaborators in the APC.” Also reacting, Lecky said: “It is false and not true; I am not party to that. It must be in the dream of whosoever imagine it.”