The All Progressives Congress (APC) has been accused of using security agents and compromised officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to rig Saturday’s governorship election in Kogi State.
Speaking at a press conference in Lokoja on Friday, Phrank Shaibu, Communications Manager to Governor Idris Wada, said APC flag bearer, Abubakar Audu, had bribed the designated returning officer with N1m ahead of the election.
“We have received extremely disturbing information about the desperate plan of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig Saturday’s Governorship Election using the security agencies, particularly the Nigerian Army and some unscrupulous INEC personnel,” he said.
“The grand plan, which is already being executed, is designed to impose the APC candidate against the will of the electorate of Kogi State,” he said.
“Specific intelligence gathered by our campaign committee indicates that the APC is involved in the devious strategic posting and deployment of security and electoral personnel in order to achieve their diabolic plan.
“A Lieutenant Colonel by the name of Isidore Ama was about two weeks ago redeployed to Kogi State by the army authorities apparently at the behest of the APC to help its election efforts.
“Lt Col Ama, it may interest you to know, headed a team of soldiers that invaded the country home of Senator Atai Aidoko of the Peoples Democratic Party and killed four persons in 2007 during the Governorship Election contested by Alhaji Ibrahim Idris and Mr Abubakar Audu in that year.
“Lt Col Amah had claimed they were in search of arms and thugs. No arms were recovered but PDP supporters who were in the Distinguished Senators premises were mowed down in cold blood.
“Despite complaints made to the military authorities, we are not aware that this extra-judicial political murder masterminded by this soldier who was then a Captain was ever redressed.
“This same officer in December 2011 Governorship Election, while serving in Borno, obtained a pass and came to Alloma to act as a Violence Consultant to the APC candidate who then contested on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria.
“We strongly believed that Lt Col Ama led thugs to chase PDP supporters into the bush in Igo and Ogbonicha Wad of Ofu LGA allowing Mr Audu to have a field day writing results. “In this election, Lt Col Ama has been deployed to Dekina LGA the home base of Governor Idris Wada the PDP candidate with the specific mission to terrorise voters and stalemate elections.
“To all intent and purposes, this officer has become an experienced election contractor, obviously in cahoots with some of his seniors. “The dubious posting of Lt Col Ama, we are reliably informed, was procured by the son of the APC Candidate, one Mr Mohammed Audu of no fixed address,
“We consider the posting traffic of Lt Col Ama not only dubious but very curious and we hereby demand explanations from the Nigerian Army.
“We also challenge the Nigerian army to make public its posting and the result of its investigations into the four lives that were cut down in a hail of bullets by Lt Col Ama and his soldiers in April 2007.
“Gentlemen, we have equally uncovered several acts of inducement and bribery by our challengers to compromise electoral personnel. This evening, without justification, the Electoral Officer posted to Koto, one Christopher Utile, without any known reason, unilaterally dropped 40 adhoc staff that have received INEC training to conduct the elections and supplanted them with unknown persons who were ferried in from Benue State in three buses.
“When our agents keeping watch challenged this curious action, Mr Utile said he was acting on orders from above. We are equally aware that a staff of the Federal University Lokoja awaiting posting as Returning Officer received One Million Naira as gift from Mr Abubakar Audu today. The name of this staff is Isa Aminu with phone number 08035913960.
“Also this evening, the running mate of Mr Audu, one James Faleke, said to be an indigene of Lagos State, distributed N50,000 (twenty thousand Naira) each to over 200 ad hoc staff recruited to work in Kabba Bunu LGA.
“Apart from security and electoral personnel, the APC has equally recruited several thugs from the Odua People’s Congress (OPC) and several cultists from Edo State funded by Governor Adams Oshiomole.
“These persons, who imported into Lokoja a cache of arms, are lodged in three hotels namely: New Royal Estate, Diato Hotel and Ina Hotels. These bandits are led by a protégé of Adams Oshiomole by the name of Philip Shaibu, a serving member of the House of Representatives and a former factional president of the National Association of Nigerian Students.
“Convinced that all these desperate efforts of manipulating INEC and security personnel will still not snatch victory for them, the APC has orchestrated several petitions against PDP stalwarts and supporters across the state, prominent among which is the indefatigable Hon Friday Sani, aka Makama.
“Beginning from tomorrow, security agents working for the APC plan to commence the mass arrest of PDP supporters to pave way for the unpopular APC to have a field day in rigging on Saturday.
“Gentlemen, this is the task we are up against. People who believe that their party being in charge at the Federal level is a licence for them to defy and defile every known rule and laws of engagement in electioneering.
“We shall, by the grace of God, not lie docile and wait for these desperate elements to overrun us through foul means. But for now, the world needs to know what is playing out in Kogi state”, he alleged.
Omolara Adegoke- Abuja
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. We also authorize the copying and usage of parts or the whole of this publication as long as Credit is given to thebreakingtimes.com and other mentioned sources