Edo APC, PDP bicker over alleged voter registration manipulation

APC and PDP flags
All Progressives Congress and Peoples Democratic Party flags

The Edo State All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party are at loggerheads over the alleged hijack of the Continuous Voter Registration being undertaken by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The exercise began on May 27 in Edo and Ondo states and was scheduled to end on June 5 but INEC, on Tuesday, announced an extension to June 9.

Before the commencement of the exercise, the Edo APC had called on INEC not to go ahead after the commission’s office was flooded and machines and materials were destroyed.

INEC, however, went on with the exercise and announced on Tuesday that the CVR was a success as 120,458 new voters were registered in both Edo and Ondo states.

But speaking with The PUNCH on Wednesday, the Edo APC Publicity Secretary, Peter Uwadiae, said while the extension was welcome, the party was worried about the alleged manipulation of the process by the ruling party, the PDP.

Uwadiae said, “It is the level playing ground which has not been provided for all the parties to get their people registered that we are bothered about. The PDP has been a stumbling block to other parties registering their members.

“It is unfortunate that you go to a registration centre and they will be asking for the party you belong?

“At this time of registration, the issue of party should not assume this proportion. The reason why you see that there are still many people to register is because of the idea that is being pushed that if you are not a PDP member, you cannot register.

“Even with the extension, the problem will still be there with the government of the day monopolising the issue of registration.”

But when contacted, the Deputy Director General,PDP Campaign Committee Media, Olu Martin, refuted the claim by the APC.

Martin said, “Let me say that as a party, we are worried that individuals who ought to know to destroy or weaken our political institutions because they want to score cheap points.

“The implications of what the APC has done with this spurious allegation is that it is saying that the Independent National Electoral Commission has been corrupted.

“If they are saying that INEC cannot carry out a simple CVR task, then what becomes of a cumbersome task of conducting a governorship election?

“I have never seen a PVC with the APC or the PDP written on it. Let’s even assume that there can be a level of influence in the ongoing CVR, it shows that the APC does not have the capacity to convince people to register.

“There is no evidence to prove what they are saying. My fear is that the APC has achieved over the years a seeming expertise in demeaning institutions. If you demean INEC, what then becomes of their independence?”

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