The state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dan Orbih, has alleged a plot by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig the September 28 governorship election through the use of manual accreditation of voters.
Orbih, however, stated at a press conference yesterday in Benin that the PDP would insist on the use of the card readers for accreditation of voters in the election.
He said that the APC had planned to influence the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to dump the card readers for manual accreditation as part of its grand plan to manipulate the process and skew the outcome in its favour.
Orbih stated that the APC is using the eighteen days by which the election was postponed to, among other vote-catching gimmicks, perfect its rigging plot.
According to him, “It is clear to the APC that there is no way it can win in a free and fair contest. Consequently, there is a plan by the APC to, among other things, ensure that the card readers do not function.”
He accused the state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and his agents of instigating the mass arrests of PDP leaders and members by the police ahead of September 28 so as to dampen the morale of party members and its supporters.
He alleged that the mass arrests and intimidation had since commenced.
Orbih displayed a letter of invitation from the police to a party leader claiming an investigation into the leader’s conduct that could lead to a security breach, pointing out that this was a pattern being adopted to harass PDP members.
He also said that as part of the plan to intimidate uncompromising influential members of the party, the state governor and his agents had sent thugs after them.
He stated that the PDP has recorded casualties with members sustaining various degrees of injury from gunshots.
He displayed photographs of some members who were allegedly attacked.
Orbih also alleged that as part of the grand plan to rig the rescheduled election, the state governor acting in concert with his highly influential contacts at INEC, is planning to replace all the Electoral Officers in Edo State with Electoral Officers from APC-controlled states.
While thanking Edo people whose resolve to change the APC has put the ruling party on edge, Orbih assured them that the PDP would do everything legally possible to ensure that their votes for the PDP in the September election count.
He stated that the PDP would resist all attempts by the ruling party to rig the election.
Responding to questions about the allegations made by Governor Oshiomhole that the PDP received two billion naira from a PDP governor and that it registered eight thousand militants from the neighbouring states, Orbih said there was no truth in the allegations.
He challenged the governor to show proof of such financial transaction as two billion naira is not an amount that you can move around in cash.
He also stated that it was an indictment of the security agencies for the governor to claim that eight thousand armed men had moved into the state to disrupt the election, pointing out that the governor was only showing signs of desperation knowing full well that the people have rejected the APC.