BAYELSA, Nigeria – The two major political parties contesting in the November 16, guber election in Bayelsa State, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Monday engaged in war of words over alleged printing of fake ballot papers ahead of the election.
The APC had raised the alarm over the printing of ballot papers and other sensitive materials by the Bayelsa State Government and the Peoples’s Democratic Party at Government House.
However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) through the State Publicity Secretary of the party, Osom Macbere, said the APC was merely displaying what it described as cerebral slothfulness, insisting that the PDP had no reason to show desperation to win the poll.
The APC, through a member of the Security Committee of the Campaign Council, Hon. Ebimobowei Tamarapriye, alleged that preliminary investigations showed that the process of printing of the said electoral materials has reached an advanced stage within Government House.
The APC called on the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), the police and all other security agencies, to investigate and confiscate the printed ballot papers and other sensitive materials at the Government house.
According to the Statement, “Information at our disposal indicates that the process of printing of the said electoral materials has reached an advanced stage within Government House.
“No doubt, this is a very weighty information that needs to be investigated with utmost urgency by INEC and all relevant security agencies as it has the capacity of snowballing into a major crisis.
“This, no doubt, is a very crucial period in the annals of our state as we go to the polls to elect a new governor. It is, therefore, quite worrisome that the state government and its party have chosen this ignominious path obviously to upend the electoral wishes of our people who have, for about eight years of the restoration government, been dehumanised and forced to accept poverty-induced despair as a way of life.
“It is also shocking that a party that claims ownership of structures strong enough to win the forthcoming elections has condescended to the lowest moral state of printing electoral materials for no other reason than thumb printing same, entering results and compromising INEC staff to accept same as authentic results.
“This desperation on the part of the state government and the PDP is birthed on the very clear signals which indicate that indeed the masses have, from their deepest recesses, desired a change. As stated earlier, we once again, urgently ask all relevant agencies to step into the matter with a view of allowing democracy thrive.”
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while denying the allegation said “the allegation is a mere display of cerebral slothfulness.
He party said: “That allegation is a mere display of cerebral slothfulness. The Bayelsa State PDP, given its time-honored cling to political power, dating back to 1999, is the dominant force here and so, needn’t degenerate into those desperate ploys to winning the forthcoming gubernatorial election.
“We are as good as the past elections and haven gone round the ends of the entire state canvassing for votes with our pedigree pick, Sen. Douye Diri and Sen. Erhujakpo, plus the issues-based manifesto, the PDP is coasting home to victory.
“But, if one may ask: ‘would the APC be privy to proof of those serious allegations and not do the obligatory by causing complaints to INEC, the custos moron of election offenses, and the Nigerian Police for appropriate action’?
“That is evident that they lack the ingredients of responsibility and responsiveness that governing a state is saddled with. Such bunch are too numb skull to be allowed to get political power.
“Not wanting to dissipate energy over the idle rants, I sum up that the APC is tending to distract the PDP and the electorate away from their anti-democracy machinations to deploying soldiers and heavily armed policemen in their favor.
”Let me remind them that no amount of voter intimidation would cow the people of Bayelsa State to accord their unpopular and incompetent candidate the serious business of state management.”