Soji Adagunodo, chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP , in Osun state, has accused Governor Rauf Aregbesola and the All Progressives Congress, APC, of planning to rig the forthcoming senatorial bye-election in the state. The election into the Osun West senatorial district became inevitable following the sudden demise of Senator Isiaka Adeleke.
The PDP in a statement said “a top ranking member of the Aregbesola administration who is the chairman of a commission in Osun state and who hails from one of the local governments in Osun West senatorial district was assigned the responsibility of liaising with some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with a view to distorting voters register in areas regarded as strongholds of the PDP so that thousands of voters would be disenfranchised on election day.”
The party further said “Their plan is to remove names of eligible voters from the register or in some cases relocate their names to different polling centres in a manner that will make it too late to raise any complaints and get a redress on the day of the election.”
“In addition, the APC plans to massively rig elections through ballot box stuffing in Iwo, Ejigbo, Egbedore, and Irewole Local Governments. The PDP in Osun state warns that these desperate measures by Governor Aregbesola and his sinking ship of failed politicians will be resisted with all legitimate means at our disposal.”
“We wish to remind the Governor of a quotation by the French poet Victor Hugo who said “There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world; and that one thing is an idea whose time has come.”
“The PDP also wishes to warn officials of the Electoral commission to stay clear of any act of partisanship or conduct capable of bringing the body into disrepute at such a crucial moment in the political history of Nigeria. We urge our members and the general public to remain vigilant in preparations for the decisive election in Osun West senatorial district”, the statement added.
But the APC dismissed the claim through a comment by Kunle Oyatomi, its director of publicity in the state branch.
“They are hallucinating. They are afraid of themselves. Which faction of the PDP is accusing us of planning to rig bye election on July 8. Is it the Alimodu Sheriff faction or Senator Ahmed Makarfi faction.
“As far as we are concerned, we don’t have a competitor in this coming bye election. We are winning this election because the PDP did not have a credible candidate. How would you describe a political party that somebody decamped to and within 24 hours, they made such a person their candidate for Osun West Senatorial District bye-election.”
“That shows that the whole two factions cannot even boast of any credible aspirant for that senatorial seat. I wonder how a party that cannot get a credible candidate for election into the Senate would get a credible candidate for governorship election next year. They just decided to field someone, who is a political neophyte as candidate because they had to, afterall, we are in democracy”, he said.