As the countdown for the Edo governorship election drops, the PDP in the state has alleged that the APC and electoral umpire, INEC have perfected plans to manipulate the polls in APC’s favour.
This is as the party has also condemned an alleged directive by the state government to civil servants in the state to put on APC armbands.
The PDP Edo in the state demanded that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), make public its staff assigned to the state to conduct the governorship elections on September 10.
This is as the party alleged that INEC has granted the All Progressives Congress (APC), real time access to the commission’s e-collation platforms in a bid to enable APC manipulate results on the field at polling stations where they are losing elections or disrupt the electoral process at such locations.
PDP stated this in a letter by the state Publicity Secretary, Chris Nehikhare, which was made available to newsmen.
The letter read, “As part of our preparations for the Edo State gubernatorial election slated for Saturday September 10, 2016, we have formally requested for a meeting with staff (Local Government Collation Officers, Returning Officer for the state, Staff in charge of card readers, E-Collation Officers and members of the ICT team) INEC assigned to conduct the elections in Edo State.
“You will be aware that as at 5/09/2016 (five days before the elections), the names and identities of these staff have not been made public. Information available to us is that INEC has granted requests made by the APC for a similar meeting with the above mentioned staff.
“We believe that such a meeting will avail us the opportunity to lay our complaints and information available to us before INEC in detail.”
In another development, the PDP has also condemned an alleged directive by the Edo State government to all civil servants in the state to wear APC arm bands and adorn their walls and tables in the office with the party’s posters and flags or risk being sacked.
In another statement released also by Nehikhare, the party said whereas, “Civil servants are supposed to be apolitical, the trend where they were ordered through text messages ostensibly from the Head of Service to immediately adorn the arm bands, paste posters and put the APC flag on their desks, ‘with immediate effect’ is a tragedy.
“Although the text messages were also forwarded to local government employees in the state, indications are that they will not comply owing to the several months’ arrears of unpaid salaries.
“Even the orders to the head of Service who was also said to have received orders to proceed to collect consignments of the arm bands, flags and posters of the APC candidate from the party secretariat along Airport road, Benin City, is pathetic as it shows a desperation on the part of APC government to win the September 10 elections at all costs”.
A top civil servant in the governor’s office (names withheld), who received his text message during a church service in Benin City, yesterday, complained that the civil service was being turned into a political arena in a move that could kill morale.
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