27th November, 2023
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Social Democratic Party, SDP in Kogi State are trading accusations over a plot to burn down the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in Lokoja, the state capital ahead of the commencement of the sitting of the tribunal over the November 11 governorship election in the state.
The SDP fired the first salvo on Sunday in a statement issued on Sunday by its Director General, New Media, MuriSam Campaign Council, Mr Isaiah Ijele.
The party, which came second in the November 11 governorship election won by APC, claimed in the statement that it had uncovered plans to burn down the INEC office in Kogi.
Ijele alleged: “It has come to our notice via grave vines that there is an urgent need for security to be beefed around the Kogi INEC office in order to avert the sinister plot to burn down the office by mandate bandits.”
However, the APC Governorship Campaign Council in Kogi in its response on Sunday evening said SDP should be held responsible if anything untoward happens to the INEC office in Lokoja.
The APC campaign council also called on security agencies to fortify security around INEC offices, given the alarm raised by the SDP.
Mr Kingsley Fanwo, the Director of Media and Publicity/Spokesperson for the APC campaign council in a statement said the party was convinced that the false alarm raised by the SDP over a purported planned attack on the INEC office was to cover up the party’s sinister motive of torching the INEC office and turning around to blame it on the APC.
Fanwo said: “As they know, they have no evidence to substantiate their characteristic lies about the credibility of the Kogi State Governorship Poll that has been adjudged as the best in the democratic history of our dear state.
“Their clandestine move to cover up their propaganda-fuelled claims about the election is well documented as we call on security agencies to fortify security around the offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission across the state.
“No amount of propaganda can help their baseless, senseless, unsubstantiated claims after their scorecard at the poll was at complete variance with their boastful pre-election posture.
“They have resorted to attacking INEC and everyone except themselves. Such is the sorry state of a party and its candidate who lack the political pedigree to challenge the politically rooted APC in Kogi.
“Despite their intimidation and blood-letting rampage in some parts of the state, INEC conducted a credible, free and fair election and the security agencies also ensured that the votes of the people counted.
“We commend Kogi residents for standing up to ethnic bigots by responding resoundingly with votes that reflected our unity as a people.”
According to him, no one is afraid of the legal challenge of the SDP ”since they failed to win the election and failed to disunite our state and our people”. (NAN)