- The PDP has alleged that the APC is planning to militarise Sokoto rerun in order to intimidate people into submission and deny them the freedom to elect candidates of their choice
- The party's chairman in Sokoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Milgoma, warned the federal government and the APC not to contemplate using any instrument of force to stall the will of Sokoto voters
- Milgoma, however, said he was confident that Governor Tambuwal would win the rerun on Saturday, March 23
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the federal government and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of plotting to use the military and other security agents to win Sokoto state by force.
Vanguard reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had scheduled the rerun polls in the state for Saturday, March 23, following the claim that no clear winner emerged in the first ballot cast on Saturday, March 9.
Legit.ng gathered that the PDP, on whose platform Governor Aminu Wiziri Tambuwal ran and would also run in the rescheduled election, issued a strongly worded warning on Thursday, March 14, against the federal government and the opposition APC in the state not to contemplate using any instrument of force to stall the will of Sokoto voters.
In the statement on Thursday, March 14, by the party's chairman in Sokoto state, Alhaji Ibrahim Milgoma, said that any attempt by the government and its security agents to manipulate the process would lead to serious consequences.
The party said it was only asking the government to allow a level playing field for the two candidates in the poll, adding that its candidate, Governor Aminu Tambuwal, would win given the electorate’s preference for him.
The statement read: “The Peoples Democratic Party in Sokoto state is aware of plans by the federal government and the All Progressives Congress at national level to massively deploy security agents and military troops to the state during the supplementary elections for the governorship and state Assembly, scheduled for March 23, 2019.
"This is clear with a view to militarising the polls in order to intimidate and terrify our people into submission and deny them the freedom and composure to elect candidates of their choice, the same game plan of the APC for the two subsequent elections.
"Our party is also in the know that prominent politicians from other states, especially those neighbouring Sokoto state, will be assigned into Sokoto to try to influence the vote in the areas affected by the election reschedule."
The party warned those involved in the scheme against infringement on the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of Sokoto people to their choice, pointing out that such scheme could be endanger the safety of the people, their lives and property.
“Sokoto is a peaceful state, our people are peace loving and law abiding and therefore do not deserve this unwarranted interference and harassment that greatly threatens our lives, at the altar of the crude quest for power.
"Sokoto state, as the originator of all its neighbours, deserves respect and the goodwill of its sisters, rather than be turned into a battle zone for unscrupulous politicians, who wish to rule our people against their will," Milgoma added.
He said the people will not be cowed into changing their choice by any force, adding that the APC, the institutions of the federal government and individuals involved in this plot will be held responsible for the possible negative consequences of their desperate designs for Sokoto state.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the Save Nigeria Democracy group, a Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO), urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure the supplementary elections are free and fair.
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