The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has said the visa ban imposed by the United States Government on some Nigerians who rigged Kogi and Bayelsa gubernatorial polls in 2019, is a warning to Adams Oshiomhole and Rotimi Akeredolu, over the upcoming elections in Edo and Ondo States.
The opposition party said Oshiomhole and Akeredolu, with the latter seeking re-election, and the former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Oshiomhole, looking to unseat Godwin Obaseki as governor, are plotting to use violence to undermine the September 19 and October 10,2020, governorship elections in Ondo and Edo respectively.
The PDP in a lengthy statement signed by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbodiyan, in Abuja on Tuesday, commended the US, over its fresh imposition of the visa ban on those undermining Nigeria’s democracy and the electoral process.
The party urged the US to also invite the European Union, as well as other nations, particularly the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, to impose similar sanctions on electoral violators, who are bent on destroying Nigeria’s democracy.
“This Visa ban, if taken across the globe, would be a final warning to the leaders of All Progressives Congress (APC), as well as compromised security and INEC officials, being used by the APC to perpetrate electoral violence and manipulations,” the party said.
“It is instructive to note that this announcement by the US, which reinforces the determination for resistance in Nigeria, is also an unambiguous cautionary to the sacked national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, the APC governorship candidates in Edo, Osagie Ize-Iyamu and his Ondo counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, over their plots to use violence to undermine the sanctity of the Edo and Ondo state governorship elections.
The main opposition party asserted that the position of the US Department of State is a confirmation that 2019 general elections, the November 2019 Kogi governorship election, as well as other elections under the present administration “were massively rigged with unrestrained violence against the people and rampant manipulations by the APC and their compromised security agents.
The PDP states: “The world is aware of how our compatriots were killed and maimed in Kano and various parts of our nation in the 2019 elections; how collation of results were compromised by relations of APC candidates and how compromised security operatives were used to frustrate the will of the people.
“Without saying, Nigerians know the individuals who unleashed violence to rig the November 2019 Kogi state governorship election; who deployed thugs and security agents to shoot and kill voters, cart away ballot boxes, used police helicopter to fire tear gas on Nigerians, burnt an innocent woman, Mrs Salome Abuh, alive, altered election result figures to make themselves winners.
“The US ban is, therefore, firm support to our stiff resistance to plots by Oshiomhole and Ize-Iyamu, who have been overheating the polity in Edo state with serial attacks on other political parties while assembling thugs, cultists, fake policemen as well as their ‘tigers and lions” who they publicly instructed to invade polling centres to unleash violence and undermine the electoral process.
“In Ondo, Nigerians are already aware of how the self-confessed APC militant and former APC chairman in the state, Isaac Kekemeke, boasted that the APC will use violence to rig the October 10 election and that Governor Akeredolu was behind the violent political attacks rocking the state.
“It is instructive to note that after Kekemeke’s boast, INEC facility in Akure, Ondo state capital was set ablaze, leading to the destruction of not less than 5141 card readers meant for the election were destroyed.
“Furthermore, Nigerians know the faces of INEC and security officials used as political mercenaries to manipulate elections in Kogi, Ekiti, Osun and other states. Our party vehemently rejects the deployment of the same individuals to Edo and Ondo.
“The presence of such persons is an invitation to the crisis as the people of Edo and Ondo will use every means available and allowed in a democracy to resist them.
The party charged INEC and all security agencies to note that the world is watching and as such strive to act by the rules, knowing that a shameful end awaits those who undermine the will of the people.
The PDP, in commending the United States, urged Nigerians, particularly in Edo and Ondo state to remain at alert and strengthen their resolve by voting and firmly defending their votes from the polling and collation centres to the final declaration of results, “with the determination to unbridle the instrument of resistance to anybody, anybody at all, who attempts to undermine their will at any level of the process.”