News Investigators/ Following the fire outbreak at the Ondo State office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a group, Democracy Vigilance Network (DVN) has alleged a collusion between the Commission and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to subvert the peoples will in the forthcoming election in the state.
About 5,100 card readers were reportedly burnt in the the fire incident.
In a statement signed by its national coordinator, Ben Olutomisin and made available to journalists in Akure on Friday, DVN stated that the perpetrators of the plot were, by their actions, planning to set Ondo State on fire.
The group alerted the international community, saying there are alleged plans by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the commission to manipulate the October governorship election in the state.
According to the group, there is a grand plot to import the manipulated card readers used during the last governorship election in Kogi election to Ondo State, and this was why genuine card readers were burnt in INEC’s Akure office.
The statement said: “The commission and APC want a modern-day, large-scale repeat of the 1983 riot in Ondo State. They are trying to foist a candidate already rejected by the people on them.
“The international community should be alerted about the likely aftermath of the plot. If they succeed in manipulating the electoral process in favour of a rejected candidate, they will have tested the resolve of the Ondo people and patriotic Nigerians.
“Was it a coincidence that the so-called fire outbreak coincided with the visit of an INEC Commissioner, Festus Okoye, to Ondo State?
“As peace-loving citizens, we are asking the international community, including the European Union, the African Union and the United States government, to prevail on APC not to set Nigeria on fire.
“The nation has travelled this road before when the INEC office in Ido Osi, Ekiti State, a PDP stronghold, was burnt, and the Court of Appeal consequently deemed all votes cast in the area void and declared Kayode Fayemi governor of Ekiti State. Therefore, what happened in Akure is an obvious plan to subvert the will of Ondo voters and truncate democracy in broad daylight.”
Asking Nigerians to bear in mind that the crisis which truncated Nigeria’s Second Republic started in Ondo State, DVN said the Ondo State people are ready to elect a candidate that will bring development to their communities, and that any attempt to subvert their will is going to be met by stiff resistance, making the 1983 riots in the state a mere child’s play.
“These desperadoes should not turn Ondo State into a theatre of war. INEC must demonstrate that it has not been heavily induced to manipulate the election in favour of the ruling party,” it said.