By Muhammad Lawal
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Kebbi State has assured of free, fair, credible and acceptable elections on Saturday.
The commission renewed its commitment against allegations by the People’s Democratic party (PDP) that there was a plan to rig the gubernatorial and state assembly elections in the state.
Reacting to the development in Birnin Kebbi on Thursday, the Deputy Director, Voter Education and Publicity, INEC, Kebbi State, Alhaji Muhammadu Rabi’u, said the allegations were mere speculations.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the PDP had alleged a plan to delay BVAS accreditation process as well as add unaccredited voters to cause outright cancellation of some polling units.
Rabi’u said: “There is nothing like that, anybody who comes on election day has to present his/her PVC before accredited and authenticated then be allowed to vote, so, there is no way you can delay accreditation.
“And anywhere we have problem with our BVAS, we have backup BVAS to replace the non-functional ones.”
On adding unaccredited voters to cause outright cancellation of elections, Rabi’u said “there is no way anybody who don’t register in a polling unit can come there and want to vote because nobody vote without PVC”.
Rabi’u assured that any of the ad-hoc staff that compromised his/her official position in favour of any political perty would certainly be arrested and prosecuted according to the laws of the land, hence the need for them to remain neutral, honest and transparent throughout the election process.
He appealed to electorate to be calm and come out enmasse to exercise their civic responsibility, assuring that INEC had already put all the necessary machinery in place towards conducting free, fair and credible elections across the state.
Addressing newsmen earlier, Alhaji Abubakar Shehu, the Director-General, PDP Gubernatorial Campaign Council, said: “The Kebbi State Gubernatorial Campaign Council has discovered a hatched plan by some undemocratic element to rig the forthcoming Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections on Saturday, March 18.
“We have received reliable information that they intend to hijack the process by prevailing on election officials to; cause delay in the BVAS accreditation process, add unaccredited voters to cause outright cancellation of such polling units and disruption of units perceived to be our strongholds, among others.”
According to him, the sinister move is planned to take place in 16 local government areas, adding that they had perfected plans in collaboration with unscrupulous elections officials.
He therefore called on the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), the Nigeria Police, Department of Security Service (DSS) and all other stakeholders to investigate it with a view to arresting the culprits and take appropriate action towards ensuring hitch-free conduct of the elections.
Shehu assured that PDP as a party would remain committed towards ensuring the overall success of the elections as well as the security of election process. (NAN)