The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has been accused by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party of using poverty as a weapon and of financing the purchase of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) from registered voters to commit electoral fraud in the general elections of 2023.
On Monday, the National Commissioner in charge of Abuja, Nasarawa, Kaduna, and Plateau states, Mohammed Haruna, announced that two people had just been found guilty by INEC of illegally possessing PVCs in Sokoto and Kano states.
Both PDP and LP made the allegations in reaction to the alarm raised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that some politicians are buying PVCs from unsuspecting Nigerians.
In his reaction, the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Debo Ologunagba noted that such alarm raised by INEC should not be treated with levity, but investigated to arrest and prosecute the offenders.
Ologunagba continued by claiming that the APC was responsible for the purchase of PVCs using funds obtained from impoverished Nigerians since the party had turned poverty into a weapon since its founding in 2015.
Ologunagba said: “The alarm raised by INEC should not be taken lightly because, in the last couple of weeks, Nigerians have seen an upsurge in the desperate tactics by the ruling All Progressives Congress, to grab and retain power by all means including the purchase of PVCs from gullible people.
“The party has weaponized poverty which it intends to use to cow Nigerians into doing its bidding.
“While we await a thorough investigation to unravel the extent to which APCs desperation has led it into seeking to criminally manipulate our electoral process to subvert the will of Nigerians, we implore our security agencies and President Buhari, to remain faithful to their promise to bequeath a credible, free and fair election come 2023.”
Similarly, Dr. Yunusa Tanko, the chief spokesperson for the Labour Party’s presidential campaign, denounced all forms of electoral crime in an interview with newsmen.
“We in the Labour Party condemn electoral crime in all its ramifications. I’m certain the politicians being described by INEC are not within our rank or file, that is why we have been taking our plea for votes directly to Nigerians.
“Our candidate has been campaigning and appearing in debates and town hall meetings because he knows the power to put him and his running mate and of course, our office party in the hands of the people.
“We enjoin Nigerians to beware of politicians, who stole from our common patrimony while in office at one time or another.
“These are the same people who have come to use these same stolen funds to try to buy their PVCs and their votes,” Yunusa stated.