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By Marie-Therese Nanlong

Jos – The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has been accused of plans to rig the 2023 elections in Plateau State following the recent transfer of one of its staff in the ICT department from the Benue State office to that of Plateau.

The Plateau State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP raised concerns at the weekend over the said transfer which the Party said was “fraudulent.”

It would be recalled that the Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Nentawe Yilwatda is a former staff of INEC who served as the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC in Benue State from where he resigned to run for the office and the said INEC staff worked under him in Benue.

The State PDP Publicity Secretary, John Akans in a statement said, “The Peoples Democratic Party’s attention has been drawn to a grievous fraudulent and criminal act planned by the Plateau State Government through Mahmoud Umar the Plateau State Head of ICT of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) who before now was in Benue State heading the same office and was working directly under the APC Governorship candidate, Nentawe Yilwatda.

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“We reliably gathered that Nentawe singlehandedly facilitated his redeployment to Jos to achieve his unpopular aspiration. This fraudulent and misleading act is being coordinated by the office of the Secretary to the State Government of Plateau State by demanding permanent voter’s cards (PVC) from innocent, ignorant and desperate job seekers (electorate) in exchange for either employment or chicken change as the case may be.

“It is important to let the general public particularly those seeking work and the Civil servants who have fallen victim to this nefarious act know that there is no correlation between an applicant and even a worker and their PVCs as this only confirms that the APC government is hell-bent on rigging the forthcoming elections since it is their only option and a well-known stock in trade had lost legitimacy and relevance due to their dismal performance.

“We are raising this alarm over this nefarious act being perpetrated by Mahmoud Umar, INEC’s Head of ICT in conjunction with Plateau State Government to compromise the 2023 general election. We want to alert the Police and other relevant security agencies to arrest this situation by calling Mahmoud Umar to order as a means of forestalling a breakdown of law and order because people are more enlightened than he thinks and the people are ever ready to defend their constitutional rights.”

He called on the electorate in the State to “be weary of giving their details and/or their PVCs to any individual, corporate or Plateau State government agency, because this is a sure way of mischievously being disenfranchised,” adding, “Your PVC is the only surest means of electing credible leaders at all levels and citizens should not trade their future to racketeers under any guise”