Two major parties set to face off in the 2019 governorship election runoffs scheduled for March 23, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have traded words over the impending elections, with each side accusing the other of election malpractice.
Background: Both parties in recent statements have targeted each other with various accusations based on militarization of the polls, and alleged collusion with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to thwart the election process.
APC Accuses the PDP of Rigging: In a statement made by the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the party alleges that the PDP plans to rig the elections with the backing of INEC in order to target the party in Rivers, Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto states.
“Post-election, Nigerians will recall that the All Progressives Congress (APC) had severally raised alarm over the plot by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to use violence, vote-buying and other election malpractices to subvert the will of the electorate and steal their mandate.
“The shocking events leading to the last-minute postponement of the presidential election provided clear evidence with PDP agents caught in different parts of the country with programmed card readers, sensitive election materials.
“We urge INEC to ensure that all loopholes that led to rigging, vote buying and intimidation of voters by the PDP is blocked.”
PDP asks APC to stop Playing the Victim: In its own statement released on Sunday, addressing the March 23 runoff elections, the PDP, while accusing the APC of playing the victim, expressed confidence in the forthcoming elections, as all the opposition party has is the backing of military personnel.
“It is ludicrous that the APC could seek to play the victim when all material facts have established that the APC militarized, perpetuated violence and unleashed mayhem on Nigerians in the elections so far held,” the statement read.
“The PDP recalls that even the recent US States Department’s Bureau reports shows that state apparatus of power was used for intimidation and electoral violence to favor the government, the PDP is however undeterred in our imminent victory in the March 23 supplementary elections.”
Bottom Line: While the APC has made its claim, just like the PDP said in its own statement, the evidence so far doesn’t seem to be behind it. So far, heavy militarization has been associated with the ruling party.