News Investigators/ AS reactions continue to trail the fire outbreak reported at the Ondo State office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in which about 5,100 card readers were reportedly burnt, a group, Progressive Professionals Forum (PPF) has urged Nigerians and the international community to thwart the alleged collusion between the electoral body and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a statement issued by its national publicity secretary, Hassan Isiaka and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday, the group called for a probe into the activities of the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) and an INEC Commissioner, Festus Okoye, whose visit to Ondo State coincided with the fire outbreak.
According to the group, credible investigations had revealed that the Akure INEC office was burnt deliberately to provide an alibi to bring in manipulated card readers into the state.
According to it, “It was reported that disused materials were brought close to the card readers, but we have reasonable grounds to believe that the disused materials were already doused in petrol, so that there could be a combustion occasioned by heat. What INEC implemented was APC’s agenda to rig the governorship election in Ondo State.
“They want to turn Ondo State upside down and seeking a re-enactment of 1983 crisis. Regardless of where their family is, they will carry the can themselves.
“The perpetrators of the infamy want to subvert the wishes of the Ondo electorate. This refusal to bow to the wishes of the electorate has been the major bane of democracy in the country since 1999.
“This is because whenever a governor realizes that he has federal might at his disposal to rig election, he will not be accountable to the people.”
While alerting the international community to what it called plans to manipulate the card readers to get predetermined results in Ondo State, the group warned that any attempt to rig the October governorship election would have disastrous consequences for the country as a whole.
It warned the security agencies not to act APC’s script, saying the Ondo governorship election should be used as a litmus test to show that Nigeria could survive.