The Oshiomhole Campaign Organisation has criticised what it called arm-twisting of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over use of members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) for the governorship election.
The Campaign organisation, in a statement by its director of media and publicity, Mr. Kassim Afegbua, accused the PDP of attempting to usurp the role of the electoral umpire.
Afegbua said the PDP was deliberately heating up the polity in order to attract unmerited attention to itself.
“We find it ludicrous that the PDP is crying wolf where there is none, simply because they realise that all their nefarious plans are not yielding fruits.
“Having realised that Oshiomhole is already coasting home to victory by virtue of the people’s verdict, the PDP has suddenly become avuncular and livid with anger for no just reason. Why must the PDP be afraid of using Corps members when that has been the tradition all over the country?
“Why are they demanding for a shift of the electoral goal post mid- way into the game when all is set for the final demolition of the PDP at the polls? I think, talking very seriously, somebody must call them to order”, Afegbua added.
Afegbua said: “The PDP in Edo State is a political party peopled by political spent forces and weather- beaten chieftains who are struggling to seek shelter in order to have opportunity to plunder the state again.
“They tell lies. They advertise ignorance with perfunctory disdain, they distort facts of history, they manipulate figures and situations all in a bid to score cheap political points.
“When they saw President Jonathan preached the one man, one vote mantra, you could see the way their eyes recoiled in utter surprise as if to say, this President can’t be serious.
They turned away their eyes from the sermons of the President on the one man, one vote mantra, to which every right thinking Edo person must subscribed”, Afegbua stated.
The Edo election is barely two weeks away and the soundbites coming from the nation’s heartbeat signpost that it will be a straight fight between the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the PDP.
The Oshiomhole Campaign Organisation has expressed optimitism about the elections, warning the PDP to desist from trying to dictate the rules of the game for INEC. “The PDP cannot be dictating to INEC what it desires before, during and after elections. It cannot possibly assume the role of INEC because the provisions of the law are very clear. When it was convenient for them, they supported the use of Corps members in Kogi, Adamawa and Kebbi elections. Now that it is their turn to play opposition here, they are frowning at the law. That is the height of hypocrisy and self-righteous indignation, call it double standard if you like.
Afegbua contended that the PDP is allegedly lazy about campaigns. Pledging that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) is up to the task, Afegbua also alleged that the leading opposition party is relying on the use of thugs in a desperate bid to win the election.
“They will be shocked to find that the ruling party in the state has tremendous goodwill to checkmate all their shenanigans. We will enforce the rules according to the dictates of the law and encourage INEC to be respectful and mindful of what the law says. Any attempt to circumvent the process would be met with very stiff resistance and opposition”, he said.
According to Afegbua, “INEC has the powers to decide who would be selected and recruited to serve as electoral officers and Corps members are better off, but it should not be at the behest of the PDP to decide what goes for all, in a game that requires level playing field”.