The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State has faulted the declaration by the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Odigie-Oyegun, that the Ekiti governorship election is a must win for his party.
The PDP also took a jibe at President Muhammadu Buhari saying even if he is the INEC returning officer, his APC would lose in Ekiti.
The PDP said “Ekiti is a no go area for APC,” and urged Mr. Oyegun to perish the thought of his party making any appreciable impact in the July 14, 2018 governorship election.
Mr. Odigie-Oyegun, who flagged off APC’s registration exercise in Ado Ekiti on Monday, had vowed that his party would win the governorship election, as nothing would be left to chance in ensuring total victory on July 14.
He also said the APC would win the election without resorting to the rigging and malpractice, noting that all efforts would be mustered to ensure the party came tops in the election.
However, the state chairman of the PDP, Gboyega Oguntuase, in his reaction on Tuesday in Ado, said the confidence exuded by the APC chairman was based on APC’s plans to use federal instruments to manipulate the election.
“If Oyegun believes that the federal government instruments can be used to manipulate the election in favour of the APC, Ekiti people are well prepared to resist the party and its rigging plot,” said Mr. Oguntuase.
He urged the international community and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the country to “focus their attention on the processes leading to the conduct of the Ekiti governorship election so as to ensure that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducts an election that truly represents the will of the people.”
“Every single APC member here in Ekiti knows that the party is nowhere near any chance of winning just one out of the 16 local councils in the state,” he said.
“The only thing they have been saying is that Governor Ayodele Fayose has been giving President Muhammadu Buhari problems and he (Buhari) has vowed to go to any length to take Ekiti from the governor so as to serve as a payback for his persistent criticism of the President.
“To us in the PDP, we can begin to draw correlation between the yesterday’s ‘we must win the Ekiti election by fire by force’ comment of Chief Oyegun with the way APC members and leaders have been boasting of using federal might to take Ekiti.
“However, we are sure that even if President Buhari is brought to Ekiti as the INEC Returning Officer for the election, APC will still fail.
“The international community and CSOs in Nigeria should therefore begin to focus their attention on the election from now and beam their searchlights on INEC and other agencies of the federal government that will be involved in the election. This is because the election will be an indicator as to the readiness and willingness of INEC to conduct free, fair and credible presidential election in 2019.”