Stories by Mumini Abdulkareem
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari to drop the alleged on-going plot to use the police as a tool to intimidate voters and rig the Irepodun/Ekiti/Oke-Ero/Isin Federal Constituency bye-election in Kwara State, scheduled for Saturday.
The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan cautioned President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to bear in mind that such a plot will be a direct invitation to crisis, as the people of Kwara State are already fully behind the PDP in firm resistance and to dismantle all APC rigging machinery at the polls.
The statement reads in parts: ’Having realised that there is no way they can win in any election in Kwara state, after being rejected by the people, the APC and the Buhari Presidency are bent on manipulating the electoral process, including using our security agencies, particularly, the police against the will of the people.
’The PDP is privy to clandestine meetings at the Presidency, where APC leaders handed down orders to the police high command to compromise the security architecture in Kwara state by transferring the District Police Officers (DPOs) in the nine police districts of the Federal Constituency and replacing them with officers believed to be pliable to instructions to execute the APC’s rigging script in the election.
’Moreover, the people of Kwara state already have details of the brief handed to the new DPOs, including providing cover for APC thugs procured to unleash violence on voters and PDP supporters, snatch ballot boxes and disrupt elections in certain areas as well as to alter election results to favour the APC candidate.
‘The people are also aware of the directives to harass, intimidate, arrest, and detain indigenes of Kwara state, and to provide cover for the importation of aliens from other areas by the APC to participate in the election.
‘The PDP therefore cautions the APC and their team of compromised security and electoral officials to retrace their steps or face the full wrath of the people of Kwara state, particularly, those in Irepodun/Ekiti/Oke-Ero/Isin Federal Constituency, who are now at full alert and completely ready to protect their political territory and to defend their votes to the end with every means available to them as free citizens under the law.
‘It is a settled fact that Irepodun/Ekiti/Oke-Ero/Isin Federal Constituency and indeed, Kwara state, remains the stronghold of the PDP. Our candidate, Saheed Alatishe, enjoys the support of the overwhelming majority of the people and they are not ready to yield their mandate to any other person, no matter the level of intimidation or threat from the enemies of democracy’.