- Eyitayo Jegede, the PDP's governorship candidate in Ondo, has reacted to the fire that gutted INEC office in Akure
- The PDP's candidate said foul play cannot be ruled out in the incident
- Jegede said the fire incident is a plot by APC to rig the election
Hours after the fire incident broke out at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Akure, the capital of Ondo state, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Eyitayo Jegede, has reacted.
Vanguard reports that he said he suspected foul play in the mysterious fire that gutted the state office of the INEC.
Legit.ng gathered that the commission said over 5,100 card readers meant for the October 10 governorship election stored in a container were burnt in the inferno on the night of Thursday, September 10.
Jegede, in a statement issued on Friday, September 11, by his campaign organisation in Akure, said he could not rule out a foul play in the mysterious fire that completely razed down the state INEC office.
He said: “We cannot rule out a foul play in the mysterious fire that completely razed down the state INEC office; now, our fate is in the hands of God."
Commenting on the fire incident, the organisation's head, media research, Samuel Fasua, said in the statement that, “For a while now, our main rival in this race has been in the eye of the storm over the accusation that it was using loan assistance decoy to collect the pin codes in the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) of drivers, artisans and other professionals across the state.
“Telephone SMS was sent to them through the Ondo State Entrepreneurship Agency, that they should submit the code numbers on their PVCs latest September 2, 2020; that the state government wanted to grant them loans to boost their businesses.
“Here were loans that our people did not get for three and half years that the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration has been in power; but now, the party is trying to use a loan offer as a decoy to pervert the inalienable right of the people to elect the candidate of their choice.
“Now, shortly after the collection of innocent people’s PVCs through the backdoor, came the shocking news that the INEC office had been razed by fire and that over 5000 card readers had been burnt.
“We smell a rat in all of this, knowing that the next scene in what looks like a drama of the absurd may lead to steps that can tinker with the authentic INEC voters’ list, with yesterday’s fire incident as alibi.”
Jegede, however, called on the national chairman of the INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, to order a thorough probe of the suspicious fire incident and bring its perpetrators to book.
He also appealed to the Nigerian police and other security agencies to rise up to the test of integrity thrown up by the INEC fire incident and conduct sweeping investigations to unveil likely perpetrators of the act, and their sponsors.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that less than four weeks to the conduct of the Ondo state governorship election, the office of the INEC in Akure gutted by fire.
It was reported that the INEC said through a statement on its Twitter page that the fire broke out on the evening of Thursday, September 10, at its Ondo state head office in Akure.
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