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PDP accuses APC of forcing INEC officials, corps members to sign prefilled results sheets

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Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday alleged that agents of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were threatening and forcing INEC presiding officers, including NYSC corps members to endorse result sheets already filled in favour of the ruling party.
The party claimed the incident happened in Okene and Okehi local government areas of the state.
A statement signed by PDP’s National Publicity Secretary on November 16, Kola Ologbodiyan read: “The APC are desperate to allocate fictitious votes and fabricate results in their favour.
“Given the magnitude of the manipulation, the PDP urges INEC not to accept any results coming from the Okene and Okehi local government areas as they have already been compromised.
“Moreover, the PDP and other stakeholders in this election will never accept manipulated results coming from the two local government areas.”
The party urged security agencies to immediately detail a reinforced team to Okene and Okehi to save the lives of the presiding officers and the NYSC corps members.
“INEC and security officials must take immediate steps to arrest the situation as the development is already causing tension and could lead to the electorate having no option than to resort to self-help to defend their democratic rights,” it added.
Meanwhile, there was heavy shooting at Ayetoro ward 1 unit 004, where Dino Melaye voted this morning.
Less than an hour after he left the voting unit, some hoodlums in two Hilux vans and a Honda Civic stormed the place, shooting into the air and targeted the ballot box.
The ballot box was eventually taken away while some boys in the community chased the vehicles with no success.
On Friday, there was apprehension in Lokoja on Friday when reports filtered in that the masked men dressed in police uniform that stormed Sutoria Hotel in Lokoja, where Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde and some People Democratic Party leaders were lodged ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in Kogi State, were political thugs.
But the state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Busari, said the masked men were police officers carrying out their duties.
Makinde is in the state in his capacity as the chairman of the PDP Kogi State Campaign Council.
Sources said the masked men surrounded the hotel in the early hours of the morning, claiming to have information that some thugs from Ibadan were lodging there.
One of the governor’s aides, who pleaded anonymity, said residents of the area raised the alarm when the invaders arrived at the hotel, adding that the governor’s security detail also confronted the strange men.
He said, “The invaders arrived at the hotel dressed in police uniform. They were masked and attempting to surround the hotel when people in the area aware that the governor was there raised the alarm.
“Police later arrived to chase them away.
“If thugs could attempt to harass a governor, what awaits the people at polling units? If we call them thugs, who gave them the uniform? This is not a good thing for democracy.”
Busari said, “They (policemen) got information that some hoodlums were hiding in the hotel. They went there to check and discovered that the information was not true and they had to withdraw. Nobody attacked anybody.
“I am not aware of any gunshots. What we discover nowadays is that any little thing, people raise the alarm. When we have any information, we have to check the information, and if it is not true, we will withdraw. This is what happened. Nobody was arrested and nobody was attacked.”
Earlier on Friday, the PDP had accused the APC of sending thugs to invade the venue for the meeting of their leaders, including their candidate for the election Musa Wada.
Ologbondiyan, in a statement, claimed the masked men who stormed the hotel were APC thugs armed with automatic rifles and other weapons.
He said Wada’s running mate, Samuel Aro, himself and other party leaders were having a meeting at the hotel when the strange men arrived.
According to him, it took the resistance of Makinde’s security team to avoid a possibly calamitous situation.
Ologbondiyan said, “The PDP says the APC ought to have known by now that their reliance on thugs and violence cannot thrive, as the people are ready to defend their state in this election.”
He urged the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to caution the APC as well as put measures in place to check the activities of APC thugs to ensure a transparent and credible election on Saturday.
However, the APC alleged that the invasion of Sutorial Hotel in Lokoja by masked men was “a continuing wave of PDP propaganda and misinformation tactics”.
A statement by the APC Media Committee Secretary, Tom Ohikere, said after a review of the pictures and videos from the scene of the incident, they was not convinced that there was an invasion.
Ohikere said, “After due scrutiny of pictures and videos emanating from the supposed attack and finding it lacking in evidence to that effect, we have come to the conclusion that it is nothing but a continuing wave of PDP propaganda and misinformation tactics.”
The Kogi State Deputy Governor, Chief Edward Onoja, was one of the early voters in his polling unit at Emoyokwu Unit 1, Ogugu Ward 2, Olamaboro local government area of the state.

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