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PDP faults plan to create polling centres for displaced Nigerians in Chad, Niger

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The People’s Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organization (PPCO), has condemned plans by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to create polling centres in Chad and Niger Republic.

INEC had announced plans to create polling centres in the two neighbouring countries with the view to enabling thousands of Nigerian refugees taking shelter in the two countries to vote in the 2019 elections.

Most of the refugees are persons displaced by the Boko Haram insurgents from their homes in towns and villages in Northeastern Nigeria.

But the PDP has declared the proposed polling centres in the two countries as illegal, accusing Presidency and the INEC of plots to rig the 2019 general elections.

In a statement Thursday by the spokesman of the PDP Campaign Organisation, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party protested the plan to create polling centres outside the shores of Nigeria.

Ologbondiyan said it’s a total violation of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), inexcusably criminal and exposes part of the plot to corrupt the electoral system and massively rig for President Buhari.

The statement said, “President Buhari, INEC and all Nigerians know that there are no provisions for Diaspora voting under our system.

“By the extant laws guiding elections in Nigeria, it is very clear who is eligible to vote, as well as the centers statutorily designated for elections. There is no provision for any special arrangement whatsoever.

“It is therefore reprehensible that President Buhari, in his desperation to rig the elections, is now trying to hide under the guise of making special provision for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) outside the country, to illegally create rigging centers outside our country and import contrived figures into the election results.

“This clandestine arrangement further validates the alarm earlier raised by the PDP, in April this year, of INEC’s plot to secretly create 30,000 illegal polling centers in some remote areas, through which they plan to allocate millions of votes to President Buhari and the APC.

“Nigerians can now see that the APC and its candidate are not committed to peaceful, credible, free and fair election. Having realised that there is no way he can win in a peaceful and credible election, Mr. President is now seeking means to enmesh the 2019 elections in constitutional crisis, public confusion and trigger an imminent violence that is capable of derailing our entire democratic process.

“Moreover, by seeking to open polling units outside the country, the Buhari administration has now agreed that it does not have full control of Nigerian territory and cannot provide security for Nigerians to freely participate in the elections.

“If President Buhari is in any way inclined towards diaspora voting, he should send an appropriate bill to the National Assembly for approval to accommodate not only Nigerians in Chad and Niger Republic, but also those in other sub-Sahara countries as well as Europe, America and other parts of the world, who have been agitating for Diaspora voting.

“Finally, the PPCO cautions the Buhari Presidency and INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, not to set our country on fire by engaging in provocative actions in desperation to rig the 2019 Presidential election for President Buhari.”

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