Osun APC planning to burn down INEC office to destroy BVAS machines, PDP alleges

BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO

The Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State has accused the All Progressives Congress of plotting to attack the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Osogbo to destroy BVAS machines used during the July 16 governorship election.

According to a statement issued on Saturday and signed by the State Caretaker Chairman of the party, Akindele Adekunle, the PDP said credible reports at its disposal revealed that the alleged arson attack was to target the strong room where the machines were kept at the Osogbo office of the electoral commission.

“We have a tip off which we consider to be very credible that the APC has perfected plot to burn down the INEC secretariat at Osogbo. We gather specifically that the target is the strong room where the machines are kept as well as the ICT section of the commission.

“We are urging the management of INEC to strengthen security protection for the state INEC office. These threats should not be taken lightly especially after the open declaration of insurgency on the state by Mr Famodun,” the statement warned.

Akindele claimed that the APC was desperate to get rid of any likelihood of admissibility of the BVAS machines during ongoing hearing of the governorship petition in Osogbo, hence, the alleged plot said to have reached advanced stage.

The statement further claimed that “the ruling party is scared of the expected ease of verification and consequent invalidation of its claim of over-voting if the Tribunal sittings continue in Osogbo,” adding that the alleged planned was to boost the petition of the APC to relocate the Tribunal sitting to Abuja.

“We have credible reports that the APC is working to frustrate further sittings in Osun State to hamper the transparency of reviewing the data on the BVAS machines. As the machines are here in Osun State, verification will be easily handled without logistics constraints and without exposure of the machines to tampering and physical dismemberment.

“To effect its manipulation plan, APC has concluded that further sittings in Osun be halted especially if the claim of over-voting is to be sustained. As the false claim cannot be sustained without tampering with the BVAS machine, the APC is perfecting plan that will expose the machines to doctoring during movement and relocation.

“Our reports further showed that Governor Oyetola and his team are eyeing a likely scenario that will outrightly prevent the electoral commission from actually producing the electoral machines in court. This is to then change the proceedings from actual physical verification to mere technical consideration of the veracity of results print out”, the party explained.

The PDP noted that the BVAS machines remained the most credible tools for result verification.
“Due to their huge numbers and sensitivity of their content, moving them around especially to Abuja posed serious risk of compromise. Bringing them to the Tribunal at Osogbo is the best route to facilitating speedy, just and fair hearing of the petition before the Justice Kume led Tribunal,” Adekunle added.

Meanwhile, the Osun APC chairman, Gboyega Famodun, had accused the PDP of plans to plunge the state into large scale mayhem over forthcoming council election and the judgement of the election petition tribunal.