By Victor Adeoti
Osogbo (NAN) The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun state has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of a plan to rig the July 8 Osun West Senatorial bye-election.
The PDP State Chairman, Mr Soji Adagunodo, made this allegation at a news conference on Tuesday in Osogbo.
But the APC swiftly responded, debunking the PDP allegation as a figment of the party’s imagination.
The APC director of Publicity and strategy, Mr Kunle Oyatomi, said the allegation by PDP was baseless and untrue.
Oyatomi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview that PDP should prove its allegation with undeniable fact before spreading falsehood.
“PDP must be suffering from psychological trauma of impending defeat.
In a press conference, PDP state chairman, Adagunodo alleged that some electoral officers were conniving with some APC chieftains to disenfranchise eligible voters at the strongholds of the PDP.
“There are plans by the APC to ensure that INEC allocate non-functioning card readers to area considered as stronghold of PDP.
“This, in their thinking, would slow down accreditation of voters and get voters discouraged.”
“The whole world needs to know some undemocratic, obnoxious and certain illegal plans from dependable source to be carried out by the APC to rig the forthcoming bye-election.
“PDP leadership will not fold its hands and allow anybody to subvert the freewill of the electorate, to thwart the successful conduct of the forthcoming bye-election.
“We hereby call on security agencies and the electoral umpire (INEC) not to allow any form of rigging during the election but they should rather ensure free and fair election,” the chairman said.
According to him, PDP had concluded plans to frustrate all machinations by ‘anti-democratic forces’ in the state with all lawful means.
Adagunodo said that the outcome of the bye-election would have major impact on 2018 gubernatorial election in the state.
“We want to call on the genuine lovers of democracy to be vigilant before, during and after the election to save their votes.
“Stakeholders and security agencies in the state with INEC should ensure a free, fair and credible election comes July 8,” he said.
But Oyatomi of APC dismissed PDP’s allegation.
“APC defeated PDP during the 2014 governorship election, the PDP will suffer defeat in July 8 bye-election.
“APC will win the election without any form of rigging, the party does not have any plan to rig the election,” he said.
NAN reports that INEC had fixed July 8 for the bye-election following the death on 23 April of Sen. Isiaka Adeleke, who represented Osun West as a member of the APC.
PDP’s torchbearer in the bye election is Adeleke’s brother, Otunba Ademola Adeleke, who decided to run on the PDP platform, when he sensed that the APC was not ready to award him the ticket.
Senator Mudashiru Hussain is the APC candidate.