AHEAD of the June 18, 2016 governorship primaries of All Progressives Congress, APC,there is palpable tension among the party faithful in the state over alleged buying and cloning of the delegates’ permanent voters’ cards by some of the leaders of the party to shore up support for a particular governorship aspirant.
Reacting to the alleged cloning of PVC, Edo State APC Publicity Secretary, Mr Godwin Erhahon, said the party condemned the dirty practice and warned all those involved to desist from it or face sanctions.
He said in a statement in Benin, yesterday that, “Complaints reaching our secretariat from various wards and local governments of Edo State revealed that some notable party leaders are going round collecting permanent voter’s Cards, PVCs, from state delegates preparatory to the June 18 governorship primaries.
PVCs selling for N10,000, N20,000
“The leaders are said to be buying each PVC with N10,000 to N20,000 without explanation on what they intend to do with them. Some local government party chairmen are said to be threatening those who refused to submit their PVCs that their names would be deleted from the list of delegates. APC condemns this dirty practice and warn those involved to desist or face sanction.
“Delegates who have submitted their PVC to such leaders are hereby advised to retrieve them immediately as such upfront collection of voters or party membership cards is not part of requirement for the primaries.
“Nobody can delete any name from the delegate list as the authentic list has been released to stakeholders by the National Secretariat. Delegates whose PVCs are withheld by anybody should forward written protest to the national secretariat urgently and copy the Director of Department of State Service, DSS, Benin City.
Collection of PVCs from delegates
“Investigations by the secretariat revealed that the collection of PVCs from delegates is being undertaken by the campaign organisation of a particular governorship aspirant. The purpose, according to reliable source, is to distribute the cards to loyalist of the particular aspirant to impersonate the delegate at the primary.
“Should their aspirant lose out in the primaries, they also intend to withhold the PVCs till after the September 10 general election to sabotage whoever emerged as APC governorship candidate at the primaries. Edo APC hereby calls on the national leadership of the party to be pro-active and ensure that desperados do not succeed in their plot against the party.”
Our source gathered that the party’s concern over the alleged collection of PVCs from delegates was sequel to the alarm raised by two of its governorship aspirants, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi and Gen. Charles Airhaivbere (retd) on the issue.
Also, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Adams Oshiomhole on Social Media, Mr. Curtis Ugbo, who was one of the delegates from Ikpoba/Okha Local Government Area of the state that was called to a meeting at one of the party leader’s office, confirmed that delegates were asked to surrender their PVCs and described the development as a ‘rape on democracy.’
He said: “What is happening now is the same thing that played out in Bayelsa State governorship primaries. You will recall that I was part of the entourage that followed our governor to conduct the botched Bayelsa APC primaries.
“He sent us to go outside and investigate what was happening outside the Samson Siasia stadium and we found out that the delegates’ voters’ cards had been collected from them prior to the day set for the primaries and had them cloned.
“So the actual delegates were locked outside the stadium while the fake ones where allowed inside the stadium.” Confirming the collection of the voters card, former Chairman of Ikpoba Okha council, Itohan Ogbeide said we wanted to know those from our council and whether they have means of identification.”