Ahead March 9 governorship and state assembly elections in Nigeria, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State has cried out over what it described as grand plan of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to capture Delta State as well as enslave Deltans, alleging that APC would be using ex-militants for their ‘dirty actions’ in the state, on the election day.
The party accused APC of setting a dangerous plan in motion to mobilise a large number of ex-militants, move them into a concealed location, provide them with military uniforms, arm them with weapons and filter them into specific areas of the state during the elections.
Funkekeme Solomon, director general, Delta State PDP Campaign, raised the alarm at a media briefing in Asaba, Tuesday.
The party alleged that masterminds behind the plan include the APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, in connivance with former Delta State governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, and the governorship candidate, Great Ogboru, as well as top officials of APC in Abuja and other APC stakeholders in Delta State.
Solomon said, “We have been informed that these ex-militants, when fully dressed as military personnel and armed with weapons, will now be deployed and filtered into PDP strongholds, particularly in the riverine areas where they are familiar with the terrain and in places like Delta North, which is easy to navigate, with strict instructions to perform dirty actions.”
He said such dirty actions include to psychologically disorganise the PDP members in the identified areas by arresting and/or placing key members of the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa’s Cabinet and top PDP officials of the state, under forced house arrest in order to dissolve their resolve, quarantine them to prevent free movement to go and cast their votes and weaken the stronghold of the PDP in those areas.
According to Solomon, the dirty action is to also frighten and intimidate innocent citizens who would come out to vote, harass and brutalise PDP leaders and supporters who eventually make it to the polling centres in order to stop them from voting en masse and deliberately cause mayhem at polling units and collation centres, with the obvious intention to disrupt the electoral process and eventually cause the cancellation of the elections where they know the APC would be defeated heavily.
He further alleged that the dirty action was to give law-abiding citizens and non indigenes residing, especially in Delta Central, the “Lagos Treatment” by identifying and violently stopping them from voting and destroying electoral materials where voting has actually taken place, just as they allegedly did in Okota in Lagos State, during the February 23, 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections
He added that the action is to ensure that they attack the electoral process to disrupt the activities of INEC officials with the deliberate intention to postpone the State’s election to enable them perfect their rigging arrangements in favour of the APC candidates by deploying more security on the rescheduled date.
“Even as we raise this alarm, we have it on good authority that these ex-militants have already been assembled and have been moved into a covert and concealed location where they will be properly debriefed and provided with their uniforms and arms with which to impersonate and then put on standby until the time when they will be driven or ferried to their designated election areas and unleashed on innocent Deltans who are going to perform their civic responsibility,” he alarmed.
The PDP therefore called on the international community and the European Union (EU), African Union (AU) and local observers to prevail on all the authorities involved with the March 9 elections, including the security agencies and INEC, to exhibit professional neutrality and maintain a level playing field during the elections, in order to avert an impending bloodbath on election day.
In his reaction, Cairo Ojougboh, spokesman, Delta APC campaign council, dismissed the allegation, saying, “Mr President has admonished all members not to engage in acts inimical to the progress of Nigeria. And we abide on what the president has said.
“But Okowa is violent, what they are alleging is their own plan. Okowa has armed all cult members in Delta State, calling them anti-cult groups.”
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