Olusegun Bamgbose, a chieftain of the New Nigerian Peoples Party, NNPP, has warned the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, against being used by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to influence the forthcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States.
The governorship election in Edo State comes up on September 19, while Ondo will decide their next Governor in October. Bamgbose noted that the two elections will actually be very tough, in view of what is at stake.
He pointed out that in the case of Ondo State, the incumbent, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, who is the candidate of the APC, will want to come back for second tenure at all costs.
The senior lawyer also mentioned other factors as that of Ashiwaju Bola Tinubu, who will want to impress President Muhammadu Buhari and the party, by delivering Ondo in view of his perceived Presidential ambition.
In the case of Edo State, Bamgbose noted that a former National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole will equally flex his muscle to prove to the party that he is still a force to reckon with.
“He will want to tell Governor Obaseki that his godfatherism has not expired. The bottom line of these analysis is that, the possibility of free and fair elections in Ondo and Edo Governorship elections may be very slim,” he said on Saturday.
“APC has plans to win the two governorship elections at all cost. The desperation is obvious. They are already perfecting plans to emerge winners, not minding what it will take them.
“We have reasons to believe, that the pressure is being mounted on INEC to be part of the winning strategy. They are not leaving any stone unturned, to win the election through any means possible.
“However, our party, New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP will want to urge INEC to resist every temptation, to be used as an instrument to subvert and subdue the will of the majority.
“Democracy has come to stay. INEC should avoid being tagged as, Enemy Of Democracy, EOD. They should not allow APC to circumvent democracy.
“We are not ruling out financial inducements by APC, in order for the elections to favour them, but INEC should be informed that Nigerians are watching with keen interest, whether INEC will dance to the tune of the ruling party.
“The will of the majority must prevail, that is what democracy is all about. INEC should maintain their integrity and ensure that democracy is not demonized by political desperados.
“They should not be influenced by the carrots APC may be dangling at them. Money Is Not Everything, MINE. Nigerians should by now have known that APC as a party has no reasonable plan to develop this country.
“They are interested in clinching to power for their selfish aims, not really to alleviate the sufferings of the poor masses. Nigerians should reject them and embrace NNPP. APC has lost focus and forthrightness. Our party remains the hope of better nation and better future,” he said.