- A group has raised an alarm alleging that there is a plot to rig the Edo governorship election
- The South-South Emerging Leaders' Forum also alleged that the plot includes compromising the leadership of the INEC
- The group said part of the plan is to return the All Progressives Congress to power in 2023
A group, South-South Emerging Leaders' Forum (SELF), has alleged that there is a plot by some highly placed politicians to rig the 2023 general elections, beginning with the forthcoming Edo state governorship poll.
The forum in a statement sent to journalists on Wednesday, July 8, by its convener, Barrister Preye Wilson, said the arrowhead of the plot has commenced moves aimed at compromising the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the first step of the plan.
The group said the purpose is to return the All Progressives Congress (APC) to power in 2023.
SELF alleged that a renewal of tenure is being dangled before the chairman of the INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, as bait to get his support for the plot.
Professor Yakubu was appointed as chairman of the INEC by President Muhammadu Buhari in October 2015. His tenure is due to expire in October this year.
The forum further alleged that the INEC boss has been requested to show commitment to the cause by returning the candidate of the APC as winner of the September 19, 2020 governorship election in Edo state.
The group said the leader of the highly secretive plot has pledged to facilitate Yakubu’s reappointment as INEC boss for another term of five years after he must have delivered Edo state to the APC in demonstration of good faith.
Part of the statement read: “There is a plot by some politicians in the ruling party to ensure the return of the INEC chairman for a second tenure.
“They have held a meeting with the INEC chairman where it was stated that his tenure would soon be over, but will be allowed to have a second term on the condition that he returns the APC in 2023.
“To be sure that he would not renege on the agreement, they have asked the INEC chairman to deliver Edo state in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
“We, therefore call on Nigerians at home and abroad, the international community, United Nations, United States, United Kingdom, European Union, etc., to be vigilant.”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum has dismissed the claim by Governor Yahaya Bello that ten PDP governors are on their way to the APC.
The party, in a statement sent to journalists, described Bello's comment as false, adding that no PDP governor is planning to defect to the APC.
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