The All Progressives Congress (APC) has raised the alarm that its members in Osun state are being denied their Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) by INEC in what seems a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise them in the August 9th governorship election in the state because only those who possess PVCs will be allowed to vote.
In a statement issued in Benin yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said INEC has resorted to asking those who daily thronged its offices in Osun which party they belong to, and that almost all those who have identified themselves as APC members have been told their PVCs are not ready.
‘’This is nothing but systematic rigging from source,’’ it observed wondering why INEC, which is expected to be a neutral umpire in the election, will resort to actions which portraysit as partisan and bereft of credibility.
APC wondered whether this is the reason why INEC had to push its REC in Osun aside to pave the way for a malleable REC who will do the bidding of the PDP.
The party challenged the INEC’s leadership to wade into the delay in the distribution of PVCs in Osun, since it is possible that the alleged disenfranchisement of APC members may be the handwork of some compromised INEC officials in the state.
It said if INEC cannot ensure that all prospective voters in the state get their PVCs before the August 9th election, the electoral commission should do the needful by allowing all those who could present their temporary voters cards to exercise their franchise on election day.
‘’Anything short of an urgent resolution of the PVC crisis, which may have been instigated deliberately by unscrupulous elements within INEC, will not augur well for a free, fair and credible election on August 9th,’’ APC said.
The party recalled that since it first raised the alarm over the PVC shenanigans in Osun, via a statement it issued on July 6th, the situation has gone from bad to worse, without INEC speaking out publicly to refute the charges of deliberately disenfranchising opposition voters in order to give an unfair advantage to the PDP.
‘’The continued denial of APC members in Osun of their PVCs and the silence of INEC over the issue have given us a serious cause for concern, and we are calling on INEC to resolve the issues we have raised if indeed the commission has no plan to collude with the PDP to rig the August 9th election in Osun,’’ the party said.
‘’When the referee decides to play for one of the teams he is supposed to preside over in a critical match, there can be no grounds to continue with the match or repose any confidence in the calls made by the referee. We sincerely hope INEC is listening.
‘’We also call on local and international observers to take more than a passing interest in the pre-election processes in Osun, especially the issue of whether or not all those who registered to vote are able to do so without a colluding electoral commission preventing them from exercising their franchise,’’ it said.