INEC Speaks On Alleged Plan To Rig March 18 Elections In Kebbi State Using BVAS
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has debunked reports of an alleged plan to rig the Saturday, March 18 governorship election in Kebbi State.
Naija News understands that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state had alleged a plan to delay the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) process on election day and add unaccredited voters to cause outright cancellation of some polling units.
While addressing journalists in Birnin Kebbi earlier, the Director-General of PDP Gubernatorial Campaign Council in the state, Alhaji Abubakar Shehu, said: “The Kebbi State Gubernatorial Campaign Council has discovered a hatched plan by some undemocratic element to rig the forthcoming Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections on Saturday, March 18.
“We have received reliable information that they intend to hijack the process by prevailing on election officials to; cause delay in the BVAS accreditation process, add unaccredited voters to cause outright cancellation of such polling units and disruption of units perceived to be our strongholds, among others.”
Shehu said the sinister move is planned in 16 local government areas, adding that they had perfected plans in collaboration with unscrupulous elections officials.
He, therefore, called on the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), the Nigeria Police, the Department of Security Service (DSS) and all other stakeholders to investigate and ensure the arrest of the culprits and also take appropriate action towards ensuring hitch-free conduct of the elections.
Reacting, the Deputy Director, Voter Education and Publicity for INEC in Kebbi State, Alhaji Muhammadu Rabi’u, said on Thursday that the allegations were mere speculations.
Rabi’u assured while speaking in Birnin Kebbi yesterday of free, fair, credible and acceptable elections on Saturday.
He said: “There is nothing like that; anybody who comes on election day has to present his/her PVC before accredited and authenticated then be allowed to vote, so there is no way you can delay accreditation.
“And anywhere we have a problem with our BVAS, we have backup BVAS to replace the non-functional ones.”
On adding unaccredited voters to cause outright cancellation of elections, Rabi’u said, “there is no way anybody who doesn’t register in a polling unit can come there and want to vote because nobody votes without PVC”.
The INEC official further assured that any of the ad-hoc staff that compromised his/her official position in favour of any political party would undoubtedly be arrested and prosecuted according to the laws of the land, hence the need for them to remain neutral, honest and transparent throughout the election process.
He appealed to the electorate to be calm and come out en masse to exercise their civic responsibility come Saturday, assuring that INEC had already put all the necessary machinery in place towards conducting free, fair and credible elections across the state.