The Niger State chapter of All Progressive Congress (APC) claims it has uncovered dubious plans by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in the state to make sure the APC candidate in the August 30 Niger East Senatorial District by-election, Barrister David Umaru, loses the contest.
The state publicity secretary of the party, Jonathan Vatsa told journalists in an interview yesterday that the party had credible information indicating that a top government official met with district and village heads during the week where they were given the marching orders to ensure that the flag-bearer, Dr. Shem Nuhu Zagbayi, wins the contest.
Vatsa also alleged that there are plans to delay electoral materials from reaching polling units on time in order to pave the way for rigging and other malpractices as well as manipulation, adding that nothing will deter them from making sure that the election was not rigged and the votes of the people count.
“We are using this opportunity to say the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs summoned all the village and district heads from Gurara, Tafa and Suleja local government to his office and gave them the matching order to deliver Dr Shem Nuhu Zabayi”, he said.
The APC spokesman expressed regrets that traditional rulers are been dragged into politics even as the PDP-led government in the state had perfected the plan to rig out their candidate, David Umaru, by dispatching the electoral materials to the polling units late.
Reacting to the allegations, chief press secretary to the Niger State governor, Israel Ayegba Ebije, said there was no iota of truth in it and that the allegations were a figment of the imagination of the APC.
He noted that the governor has been emphatic about the need for traditional rulers to remain neutral in politics and not to try to meddle in political matters as they ought to be non-partisan fathers of all, irrespective of political affiliations.