The Independent National Electoral Commission and the Kebbi State Police Command have dismissed allegations that they plan to connive with the ruling All Progressives Congress in the state to rig the forthcoming governorship election.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate in the state, Aminu Bande, made the allegation at a news conference in Birnin Kebbi.
NAN reports that the candidate had alleged that INEC, in collaboration with the police, were conniving with the ruling party to conduct the forthcoming elections without using Bimodal Voter Accreditation System.
He also insinuated that ballot papers would be given to the ruling party on the eve of election to be thumb printed for onward use on election day.
The INEC in Kebbi State on Tuesday described all the allegations as mere fiction and figment of the imagination of the opposition party.
INEC, speaking through the Kebbi State Deputy Director, Voter Education and Publicity, Alhaji Muhammadu Rabi’u, said the allegations were false, insisting that the use of BVAS had been captured as part of the law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“BVAS must be used in all elections in Nigeria henceforth and it will continue to be used until a more improved technology is gotten. I am assuring you that there is no such thing and there will be no single polling unit across the state that will conduct election without BVAS.
“Any attempt from any quarters or from any of our ad hoc staff to conduct election without BVAS, definitely, we shall prosecute him/her.
“Anybody from outside who feels he can connive with any of our staff to do so, I am very sorry, we will not let that person go free; he/she must be prosecuted.”
On allegation of issuing ballot papers to the ruling party on the eve of elections, Rabi’u said ballot papers were part of sensitive materials in the custody of Central Bank of Nigeria, assuring that agents of all political parties and security agencies must be present before distribution of such materials.
“All sensitive materials are in CBN for safe keep, before we go for it, we have to call the police and the political parties to go there together same day same time. INEC will not do anything without the security agencies and political party agents.
“Automatically as an agent of a political party, you are an ambassador of that party, therefore, it’s your responsibility to oversee and ensure that the right thing is done. So, such a thing is not possible and we are not conniving with anybody to do any evil,” he assured.
On his part, the Commissioner of Police in Kebbi State, Mr Ahmed Magaji-Kontagora, said the allegations were not true, adding that the police were a Federal Government agency and warned to be apolitical.
The CP, through the command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Nafi’u Abubakar, said, “We were warned to be neutral in all elections, therefore, I don’t think any member of the force will involve in conniving with INEC or any other person to tamper with the election, this is not true.”
He assured that the police and other sister agencies in the state were fully ready to ensure a hitch-free and successful elections across the state, advising all political parties as well as electorate to sustain the confidence they had in the police and other security agencies.