The Delta State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has denied an allegation that it plans to rig the Delta State House of Assembly bye-election for the Warri South LGA Constituency I.
A statement by Leonard Obibi, State Publicity Secretary (Ag.), said: "Our attention has been drawn to a publication in a national newspaper of Wednesday, 19 April, 2017 in which the Director of Media and Publicity for Princess Shola Ogbemi-Daibo Campaign Organisation, Mr Ojere Eremosele, alleged that APC plans to rig the Delta State House of Assembly bye-election for the Warri South LGA Constituency I, purporting that a meeting was held somewhere in Abuja where plans were 'made to mastermind the rigging of the afore-mentioned election'.
"We did not want to dignify such uncouth outburst with a response; however, we are compelled to react to this baseless and juvenile accusation to prevent this so-called 'Accord Party' campaign from misleading the general public.
"First, it is important to enlighten the public that the political history of Princess Shola Ogbemi-Daibo has always been in the theatre of PDP, and nobody should be fooled by the sudden twist of her picking a ticket under an "unestablished" Accord Party.
"The days of masquerading as the candidate of Accord Party is over. Every zebra is known by her stripes, and APC cannot be hoodwinked with such a naive strategy because we are aware that the Makarfi/Okowa-led faction of PDP in Delta State chose to plant her in Accord Party as a candidate.
"With PDP factionalized and weather-beaten and their umbrella torn to shreds, the party is now in total disarray and uncomfortable with the rising profile of APC in Delta State. This present effort is only an attempt to side-step the overwhelming political challenges that the party has imposed upon itself.
"The key actors in the Warri-South 'Accord Party' camp are Makarfi/Okowa-led PDP members; and their history is well known to us. PDP is wearing a tattered coat of "Accord Party" and crying foul to court undeserved sympathy."
The statement added: "PDP is not deaf but it acts dumb; otherwise, it would by now have known that the vast majority of Deltans no longer have sympathy for the party. This is why they must hide themselves in whatever name, shape or colour. But, why not? PDP continues to make life unbearable throughout the state. With nearly 18 years of experience under several woeful PDP administrations, Deltans are more politically aware today. They are very aware that there are no job opportunities; yet the few workers, teachers, etc that are engaged are not paid salaries at when due, while funds for aged pensioners are mismanaged.
"There is no evidence of an articulate vision, no innovation and barely any infrastructural development. Besides, the environment for business is rather unpleasant now due to the wicked and strange taxes that the PDP government is imposing on poor and innocent Deltans. And above all, the profligacy and misgovernment of PDP has left Delta state with a massive debt hanging on its neck.
"It is on record that rigging of elections in Delta State is an entrenched habit of PDP; and there is no doubt that they are trembling as defeat stares them in the face, especially with the way APC thrashed it and took over the reins of power at the national level in the 2015 general election. The PDP and it's decoy, Accord Party, are now frantic and totally confused.
"Well, the fact remains that APC is the harbinger of a new and peaceful order of things. We must caution the PDP that normally enters into all manner of unholy alliances with questionable partners not to attempt to indulge in any rigging during this election. They must be aware that all security agencies and INEC will be on high-alert to curtail any undue excesses, so as to prevent the kind of sad experiences in the recent Rivers State elections.
"This is why that baseless story by the Accord Party Campaign Organisation reminds us of the character of "Macbeth" in the Shakespeare series, where he spoke of "a tale... full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." We encourage the "PDP/Accord Party alliance" candidate to make effort to go out there and campaign for the peoples votes, just as APC is already doing in Warri South Constituency I and its environs.
"We will use this opportunity to notify the public that this unbridled desperation by PDP/Accord Party alliance has resulted in physical attacks by their paid agents on APC faithfuls and vehicles as the party proceeds peacefully with her campaign. These unwarranted incidents have been reported to security agencies.
"We call on security agencies to provide comprehensive coverage to forestall and prevent any loss of lives or damage to property during this election. APC will surely not be deterred by the effort of PDP and its agents to undermine this election. To their dismay, we have overcome their cruelty and are marching on stronger to the finish line. We are hopeful that this bye-election will be free, fair and peaceful.
"The many years of PDP rigging elections and foisting her candidates on the people will soon be over. And in all of this, the fact remains that PDP has nothing to fear but itself."