The Peoples Democratic Party has condemned what it called fresh plot by the Independent National Electoral Commission to secretly create 30,000 illegal polling units.
The party alleged that its investigations revealed that the intention of INEC was to rig the 2019 elections in favour of the All Progressives Congress and President Muhammadu Buhari.
The PDP described the alleged plot as wicked, horrible and totally unacceptable.
A statement issued by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja on Friday, partly read, “We are aware of the series of clandestine meetings between compromised officials of the commission and certain agents of the Presidency and APC, where the plot to sneak in the 30, 000 illegal polling units in some remote areas was hatched. That was where the plan to also allocate votes to President Buhari and the APC were perfected.” Ologbodiyan alleged that the Presidency and the APC made the moves after realising that Nigerians had allegedly rejected them, “thus they are now employing all manners of antics to rig the polls and foist Buhari back on Nigerians.”
He said, “The PDP cautions INEC not to set the nation on fire by its overt conspiratorial tendencies. Prof. Yakubu should heed wise counsel and immediately perish the thoughts of using such polling units or dividing the nation along ethnic lines in the 2019 general elections, as such would be swiftly resisted.
“We invite INEC to note that Nigerians have seen the handwriting on the wall regarding the general rejection of President Buhari and the APC well ahead of the elections. We all know where the tide is flowing and Nigerians are not ready to, and will never accept any results that do not reflect that reality.
“Having completely lost confidence in the integrity of INEC under Prof. Yakubu, we unequivocally demand that all processes leading to the 2019 elections must be subjected to open review by political parties and stakeholders at all levels.
“In this regard, we demand that INEC makes public the location and status of all polling units as well as the report of its investigation of underage voters in various parts of the country, particularly, Kano and Katsina states.”
Ologbondiyan urged Nigerians to remain vigilant and monitor all processes to ensure that INEC and the APC do not, at any point in the process, manipulate the 2019 elections or subvert the will of the people.
In its response, INEC said although it had the right to create polling units as it deemed fit, there was no plan to create 30,000 polling units in the country as alleged by the PDP.
The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, said in an email to that there had been agitations by some Nigerians that the commission should create more polling units and registration centres.
Oyekanmi said, “INEC is empowered by law to create polling units. However, it is not true that INEC wants to create 30,000 new polling units to rig the 2019 general elections in favour of any candidate.”
He said the electoral body, in an internal memo on March 20, 2018, directed the Resident Electoral Commissioners to come up with recommendations to address some of the issues.
Oyekanmi added, “For some time now, the commission had been inundated with several requests from 25 states across the country for the creation of more Registration Areas and Voting Points. To be sure, these 25 states are asking for 3,789 new polling units.
“This is not unusual because as the country’s population grows, new settlements have emerged. People also migrate from one place to another in large numbers due to conflicts and economic reasons.”