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Bayelsa: Rig Election, Face Civil Unrest, PDP Warns APC, INEC

Kayode Sesan

Ahead of this weekend’s governorship election in Bayelsa State, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has warned of imminent civil unrest in Nigeria, particularly in the South South region should President Muhammadu Buhari’s All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, manipulate the outcome of the poll.

The party said anything short of the will of the people as evidenced in a transparent process would be vehemently resisted, insisting that for a guaranteed free and fair election, all votes must count and be collated and announced at individual polling units and that all security agencies and electoral officers must play by the rule.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja yesterday, national publicity secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, called on President Buhari to note that this country could not afford to aggravate an already charged environment.

He said: “Any attempt to rig the result of Bayelsa election will be a clear invitation to civil unrest in the region, thereby further heating up the polity.

“For purposes of emphasis, Bayelsa is a core PDP state and our overwhelming support base indicates this. Therefore, anything short of the will of the people as evidenced in a transparent process will be vehemently resisted.

“Expecting INEC to conduct a free, fair and credible election is not an impossibility considering the record of the PDP in ensuring credible polls in eight elections in the last five years.”

He said the National Working Committee of the PDP wishes to declare to INEC and all security agencies that the people of Bayelsa State and their members “have been fully rallied in their numbers to combat, head to head, any move by anybody or group whatsoever to rig the December 5 governorship election.

“We wish to make it clear to all, especially INEC officials, both regular and ad hoc that the atmosphere in Bayelsa is already charged and that any of them, who in any way allows himself to be used for manipulation would be doing so at his own peril.

“Bayelsans, conscious of the ugly records of brazen doctoring of votes by INEC in favour of the APC in the earlier mentioned Borno and Kogi states governorship election, are now fully determined to stop the commission in its trail and ensure that such is not repeated in their state.

“We are all aware of the marching order handed down to the new INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, at his furtive meeting with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, to rig Kogi and Bayelsa elections in favour of the APC, but we wish to let the commission know that attempting so in Bayelsa will have huge repercussions.”

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