By Ezeocha Nzeh and Myke Uzendu
Ahead of Saturday’s president election, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have unceasingly locked in accusations over the state of the nation’s security
This is even as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recorded another fire incident that destroyed its materials meant for the elections
INEC in a statement issued Tuesday by its National Commissioner in charge of Voter Education and Publicity (VEP) Festus Okoye disclosed that it lost additional 4695 Smart card Readers in yesterday’s fire incident at its Awka office in Anambra State
“Further to our statement of Sunday 10th February 2019. the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) regrets to inforn the public that there has been another lire incident. this time in its Anambra State office.
“This is the third of such incidents in the last 12 days. following closely behind those of lsiala Ngwa and Qua’an Pan Local Government offices in Abia and Plateau States respectively.
“While the Commission awaits the details of the latest incident, it notes with some relief that there was no fatality or injury reported. Initial assessment however confirms that a total of 4695 of the Smart Card Readers were destroyed in the inferno,” disclosed the commission, which described the development as a setback to its preparations for the smooth conduct of the elections in Anambra State.
INEC however noted that the steps so far taken, it remains confident that the election in the state will proceed as scheduled.
While, the opposition PDP has accused the ruling APC of been behind the series of fire attack at the INEC offices, the APC has said it has uncovered a last-minute desperate plot by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to orchestrate a crisis and trigger a sense of panic among the populace and cause a constitutional crisis.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the plot confirms the alarm raised by the Federal Government on Jan. 21st and Feb. 3rd 2019 that the PDP is planning to scuttle the election and, where that fails, discredit it.
He said in the days ahead, PDP bigwigs, including its presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, his running mate Peter Obi, PDP Governors and others, are planning a world press conference in order to level frivolous and unfounded allegations against the federal government and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in its accusations against APC, said fresh facts available to it shows that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is responsible for the burning of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) offices in various parts of the country.
The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan on Tuesday in Abuja said it has the details of how APC mobilized misguided elements in its fold to burn INEC offices and destroy electoral materials and equipment in Plateau, Abia and Anambra States.
“Our party is also privy to clandestine plots by the APC to burn INEC offices in some other states, so as to paralyze the commission’s operations in such states, and pave the way for the isolation and postponement of Presidential elections in those states; after which it plans to unleash compromised security agencies to muzzle the shifted polls in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Having realized that President Buhari has no chance in a credible, free and fair general election, the APC now plots a violent staggering of the polls so as to use security forces to re-enact the same rigging formula it used in the 2018 Ekiti and Osun governorship elections.
“In attacking INEC offices and destroying the card readers, APC seeks to cripple the commission’s use of full benefit of technology that will guarantee a credible biometric voter accreditation” the statement disclosed.