The Peoples Democratic Party on Sunday warned the Independent National Electoral Commission against keeping Anambra governorship election materials in Imo State.
This is contained in a statement by the PDP’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan titled, “Anambra Guber: PDP calls out INEC over alleged diversion of electoral materials to Gov. Uzodinma”
There were media reports that the INEC had plans to store some of its non-sensitive materials for the Anambra governorship election in its facilities in the Imo.
The PDP statement read in part, “Our party firmly rejects the reported move by INEC to use its facility in Owerri, Imo State capital, for the storage of electoral materials for the Anambra governorship election, rather than in Anambra State.
“The PDP holds this stance given the well-known electoral character of Governor Hope Uzodinma and the APC.
“Our party insists that any attempt to hand over the materials to Governor Uzodinma by storing them in Imo state amounts to rigging the election before its conduct.
“Such could lead to a breakdown of law and order in the zone and scuttle the November 6 election.
“Moreover, if INEC, for any reason desires to keep the materials in another state order than Anambra, the best choice ought to be Enugu State, given the availability of a functional airport, a more secure environment with regional security formations as well as better storage facility at the Central Bank of Nigeria in Enugu.
“The PDP calls on the INEC Chairman to save the situation by speaking out as well as taking steps to reverse the reported plan, should there be any of such.”
The opposition PDP urged the people of Anambra to remain vigilant and law-abiding.
When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi said, “INEC will not be distracted by familiar but unfounded allegations about an imaginary plot to rig the Anambra Governorship election. Rather than make spurious allegations, any political party or individual with evidence of such a plot should make it public.
“I can say without any fear of contradiction that no court of law has annulled any governorship election conducted by the Mahmood Yakubu-led Commission since its inauguration in December 2015 for rigging.
“On the other hand, where the Commission will recruit its Returning Officers for any election from is not open for debate. It’s a no-go area for any political party or politician.
“Interestingly, when the same Governor Willie Obiano won the Anambra governorship election four years ago, he did not accuse INEC of rigging the election. So, why would INEC rig the election this time? The Commission has moved very far ahead of these petty allegations.
“Political parties and politicians should not be at the forefront of spreading fake news. Perhaps, it is time for a law that would impose heavy penalties on anyone found guilty of spreading fake news, especially those that could severely disrupt public peace.”