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Parties allege plot to rig guber polls in Rivers, Enugu, Ebonyi, Delta, others



They’re crying wolf – INEC
Eleventh-hour horse tradings set candidates on ‘warpath’

WITH less than 24 hours to tomorrow’s governorship and state legislative houses elections, a political pressure group under the aegis of Coalition of Governorship Candidates in Southern States (COGOCSS), has said it has uncovered plans to rig the outcome of the polls in Rivers, Enugu, Delta and Akwa Ibom States.

  Others include Lagos, Oyo and Abia States.

  The group made the allegation in a communiqué issued after an emergency meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, yesterday, during a joint conference put together by governorship candidates of opposition parties in the state.

  They claimed to have uncovered a plot by the PDP and INEC to rig the elections in favour of the PDP.

  Speaking while reading the communiqué, Protem Coordinator of COGOCSS and National Redemption Movement (NRM) governorship candidate, Sobomabo Jack- Rich said those behind the plot are agents of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and All Progressives Congress (APC).

  According to Jack-Rich, the two agencies have concluded plans to rig the gubernatorial elections ‘at source using brazen and sophisticated methods, including pattern of deployment of INEC officials to election duties.’

  “The Coalition of Governorship Candidates in Southern States (COGOCSS) has uncovered a grand plot by the electoral umpire and All Progressives Congress to rig Saturday, March 18 gubernatorial elections in at least seven states, including Rivers, Enugu, Delta and Akwa Ibom States. Others are Lagos, Oyo and Abia. We have their brazen crude and sophisticated schemes on good authority and we are tracking them. But be it known that we will not fold our hands and watch Independent National Electoral Commission and APC foist any contraption on Nigerians. Part of the plan, we must inform Nigerians beforehand and in time, is to remove some names  in the list of ad hoc staff and replace them with their agents who have been trained to carry out the plot,” he said.

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  But in a swift reaction to the allegation, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Lagos State, Olusegun Agbaje, said there was no iota of truth in it.

  Dismissing the allegation as ‘crying wolf’ by the group, Agbaje urged voters to disregard it and turn out en masse to vote for candidates of their choice in the states mentioned and others.

  Meanwhile, last-minute preparations ahead D-Day have continued to spike political barometers in some states.

  In Delta State where PDP is ruling, parties and their candidates are intensifying efforts to woo Deltans to their respective sides same time Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi have stepped up their strategies at courting non-indigenes in the state for their governorship and House of Assembly candidates.

  Also, governorship candidates of political parties in Akwa Ibom State are lobbying various professional bodies and interest groups, including top senior civil servants, traditional rulers, market women, sociocultural organisations, student unions and youth groups, for votes.

  The development is not different from the trends in Lagos, Abia and Oyo States, where  parties are falling over each other in heightened activities to enlist the people behind them.

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