The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, has raised the alarm over an alleged attempt to sabotage the collection of Permanent Voters Card (PVC) in Lagos State.
Obi said voters willing to collect their PVCs were frustrated with excuses disrupting the collection in some areas in Lagos State, adding that there was large inducement to some personnel of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state to lure them into the dubious act.
The LP presidential flag-bearer said this via a statement issued on Wednesday by his campaign media office.
The statement read: “Reports reaching Obi-Datti Media Office show that the collection of PVC is not going smoothly in some centers across the country.
“Our attention was drawn in particular to Lagos state where in some identified areas prospective voters wishing to collect their voter’s cards are being frustrated with all kinds of excuses disrupting the PVC collection.
“We are also aware of the large inducement to some personnel of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Lagos to lure them into the dubious nefarious act.
“When we recently charged President Muhammedu Buhari and the INEC Chairman Prof Mahmoud Yakubu to walk their talk of their promise to conduct free and fair elections in 2023, we expect that they should be concerned about all pre-Election Day activities.
“Concentrating only on Election Day activities while the major rigging is taking place ahead of the election is counter productive and will defeat all the good intentions of the President and the commission.
“There should be no preferential treatment of any area or individuals as being reported in Lagos state and where such exist should discontinue immediately and affected commission officials seriously reprimanded.
“Obi-Datti Media Office expects the Commission even before now to have drummed it into the ears of their staff, the critical importance of this election to the survival of the country and the need to make their patriotic contributions at their various levels by religiously playing by the rules in all they do before, during, and after the election.”
The campaign office of the LP presidential candidate stated that a large number of underaged voters were registered by INEC officials, calling on the electoral umpire to ensure that the commission’s personnel involved in the act are identified and prosecuted as electoral offenders.
“Not to do that immediately by the commission is to look at the presence of a rat in your kitchen and expect to have all your items intact.
“Obi-Datti Media Office is privy to credible intelligence that some politicians and political parties aware that the BVAS voting arrangement may be difficult to manipulate have resolved to start the election maneuvering from the stage of PVC registration and collection.
“We therefore call on INEC and relevant security agencies to see any move to undermine the electoral process as a huge crime against the state and should be so treated.
“We finally urge all Nigerians particularly the Obidient family to remain resolute and ensure they resist any anti democratic moves against free, fair and credible elections in 2023. Taking back Nigeria is an inevitable duty for all patriotic citizens,” the Obi-Datti media office added.
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