A civil rights organisation, the Peace Network Initiative, on Sunday said it had uncovered plot to rig the forthcoming governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States.
The advocacy group promoting non-violence, peace and development, said in a statement by its National Secretary, Chidi Azuka, in Abuja that some powerful vested interests were on top of the plot to rig elections in the two states in favour of the All Progressives Congress, which is in the opposition in both states.
The PNI stated that the names of some APC registered members were being compiled to serve as key officials to conduct the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States.
It also revealed that in order to ensure the success of the rigging plot, top security officials in the strategic agencies were to be deployed to oversee the elections.
The security officials, the group further claimed, were already being put together with a clear instruction “to deliver APC candidates in Kogi and Bayelsa”.
It was also revealed that the entire plot has a “strategic link” with the presidential race in 2019, with the understanding that both Bayelsa and Kogi States would be key to advancing the electoral fortunes of the APC and as such “all necessary steps” must be taken to win the states in the next round of elections.
The PNI, which condemned the plot, warned the leadership of the PDP to be at alert, stating that the rigging plot was real and being co-ordinated by a powerful politician in the South West region of the country.
It said: “They are very serious about the rigging plot and no one should underestimate their capacity for evil. The PDP in particular must take necessary action and be on guard, they are serious.”
But in its reaction to the development, the Ijaw Youth Council said it will resist any attempt by anyone, body or institution of the APC-led Federal Government to rig the election in Bayelsa State in favour of the APC candidate.
In a statement by the Chairman of IYC, Central Zone, Comrade Bobolaiyefa Owopele, the body called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure a credible, free and fair election in the December 5 poll.
It said a credible election was the minimum expectation for peace and order, noting that the Federal Government should emulate the PDP-led government under the immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan, which established and operated vital institutions that conducted transparent elections, with President Buhari a major beneficiary.
Owopele said: “The case of Bayelsa State is peculiar given the facts of history. If APC aspirants can mutually trade such wanton violence among themselves as we saw recently, it simply suggest that there is every likelihood it will unleash even more devilish attacks during the governorship election proper. Needless to say such eventuality will not augur well for the peace and tranquility of the state.”