Delta by-election: APC accuses PDP of intimidation
The All Progressives Congress has accused the Peoples Democratic Party of using security agents to intimidate voters. It also alleged that the party prevented voting materials from reaching polling units in opposition strongholds during Saturday's bye-election in Delta Central Senatorial District.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Saturday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Lai Mohammed, the party said reports from its agents on the field indicated that armed soldiers and policemen were deployed strategically to intimidate voters, while trailers and tankers were used to block the roads leading to the opposition strongholds, thereby preventing voting materials from reaching there.
He said, 'Worst-hit areas were Ughelli-North; Udu and Uvwie Local Governments, which are the strongholds of the APC. Also, several Hilux vehicles loaded with armed soldiers were sent to Okpe Local Government Ward 8 Collation Centre since Friday night.
'Though materials were moved from the distribution centre to local government headquarters overnight, the PDP, using security agents and thugs, have succeeded in ensuring that the materials were not ferried to polling units in several wards.
'In Sapele Ward 8, security agents even beat up voters, even before the start of accreditation, thus scaring them away from polling units. In Udu LG Ward 7, election materials were seized by thugs. These strategies were all aimed at scaring away voters and suppressing votes in opposition strongholds.'
He also accused the INEC official in Ughelli-South of insisting that 19 booklets of ballot papers and 197 loose sheets (ballot papers) be given to the Jeremy Ward 2 of the Delta State Deputy Governor, even after materials had been shared to all the wards, including Jeremy Ward 2.
He alleged that if the INEC official had his way, the extra materials would have been abused by the PDP.
But in his response, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Olisa Metuh, dismissed the allegation and said the by-election was free and fair.
He said, 'We will not react to serial losers. Whenever they lose, they resort to propaganda and violence. They are a frustrated opposition. It was a free and fair contest. Why are they complaining?'