PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cautioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against stoking up trouble in the upcoming governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States.

This followed allegation by the main opposition party that INEC had secretly recruited 4,000 members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as independent observers for the July 14 and September 22 governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States respectively.

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The party’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement said the electorate in Ekiti and Osun were already aware of the plots to use the alleged illegal observers to manipulate the electoral process in the two states.

According to the PDP, the plot is for the “observers” to endorse irregularities, approve fictitious results and subvert the will of the electorate in favour of the APC.

The part vowed to resist such impunity, and demanded the immediate withdrawal of the 4,000 “observers” by INEC in the interest of the country and its democracy.

The statement said: “INEC, in this design, should not forget that these states are immutable strongholds of the PDP; that the citizens are politically sophisticated and will in no way hesitate to confront, with all energy available in a democracy, any attempt by anybody to sabotage the election.

“It is an incontrovertible fact that the PDP has the largest demography of genuine followership and unprecedented mass appeal across Ekiti State, particularly due to the sterling performance of Governor Ayo Fayose. We also have the most popular candidate in this election and the direction of the political tide is clear to all.

“In this regard, the national leadership of the PDP states in very clear terms that our structures across all the electoral wards in Ekiti and Osun States have been put at alert, as we will not allow anybody to use any means whatsoever to manipulate the electoral process.

“The PDP therefore issues this as a direct caution to these illegal observers to steer clear of Ekiti and Osun States and also to desist from testing the will of the people as they will in no way stomach any attempt by anybody to subvert their will at the polls.

“On this note, we charge the INEC Chairman to immediately douse the tension by instantly withdrawing the illegal observers and constituting a process of selecting new and genuine observers with full participation of all major stakeholders, particularly the political parties contesting in the elections. Anything short of this is unacceptable and will be highly and firmly resisted by the people.”