Ahead of the forthcoming general elections, Jimi Agbaje, the gubernatorial candidate of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, has alleged that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), are colluding with the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) to disenfranchise non-indigenes resident in the state.
In a statement issued by his campaign organisation Director of Media and Publicity, Felix Oboagwina, Agbaje said that some INEC personnel, acting out the script of APC, were undertaking discriminatory distribution of PVCs by withholding the cards of non-indigenes largely suspected of being unsympathetic to ruling party.
Agbaje, who is contesting the gubernatorial election in the state for the third time, however, commended INEC for extending the collection of PVCs, but added that the extension would make no meaning should officials themselves become a stumbling block to identified set of voters.
He further described the trend as immoral, illegal and xenophobic, urging INEC to wade into the matter, restore normalcy and bring to face the law officials perpetrating the discrimination.
The PDP governorship candidate said that his campaign organisation was daily inundated with complaints from aggrieved members of the public, alarmed that non-indigenes living in some local government areas where the PDP had stronghold were being denied their PVCs by INEC personnel.
“The on-going discrimination serves as a pointer that the INEC officers manning such posts would ultimately assist APC to falsify results and rig elections during actual voting,” he noted.
“We are not comfortable with the situation; it appears like part of a grand plan by these officials to ensure APC falsely has a good result in their areas by all means.”
He declared that the move was frustrating, and showed the desperate antic of a party that has failed to impress the electorate.
The Spokesman of INEC in the state, Femi Akinbiyi, denied the allegation. “It is not true. The allegation is senseless and unfounded,” Akinbiyi said by phone Monday.