The Enlightened Workers Forum (EWF), an interest group in the Ekiti State work force, has raised an alarm over an alleged plot by Governor Ayodele Fayose to rig the July 14 governorship election in favour of his party’s, PDP candidate, Prof Kolapo Olusola Eleka.
The group, in a statement issued on Friday, said it has uncovered voter card data capturing going on at the Peace Corps of Nigeria, PCN, Ekiti State Command Headquarters in Oke Ila area of Ado-Ekiti and Fajuyi mini pavilion.
The EWF maintained that the Ekiti Command of the PCN was allegedly acting on an agreement had with Fayose to collate, according to the Wards, Polling Units, the VIN and serial numbers on the voter cards belonging to members of the corps.
However, denying the alleged rigging plot, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Lanre Ogunsuyi, described the allegation as a figment of imagination of the group.
Ogunsuyi said: “This is a figment of their imagination, all parties are busy mobilizing and training their supporters, party agents and enlightening the electorate ahead of the election.
“No worker has submitted his card for any pecuniary gain and no cloning of cards is going on as alleged. What is going on are political parties, PCN members are free to join any political meeting of their choice.”
The EWF said the alleged action was aimed at cloning the cards and double the vote count during the governorship election for the PDP candidate to emerge victorious at the poll.
It claimed that Fayose had also requested for the bank details of the PCN members that have already submitted their PVCs for the purported data capturing with a promise to give each PCN members N10,000 a day to the election through bank alert.
The group said, “Fayose, in his desperate moves to coerce the PCN Ekiti State Command into his devilish political tricks as the next month governorship election draws near had given the non-governmental security outfit State Employment Forms and promised to enlist their members into the State Public Service and also mobilize them as a secret security personnel to perpetrate rigging in the next month governorship election.
“We advise the Ekiti State Command of the Peace Corps of Nigeria to steer clear of Fayose’s political antics ahead of July 14 governorship poll and not be party to any activity that could denigrate the good public image of the organisation.”
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has warned Fayose against illegal collection of workers’ voter cards through coercion, saying “voters have inalienable right to vote for candidate of their choice.”
A statement by the Director, Media and Publicity of the Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation, Wole Olujobi, urged Fayose to stop alleged criminal and unauthorised collection of teachers and workers’ PVC numbers.
Fayemi said workers should be allowed to cast their votes for their preferred candidates in the coming election without any fear of intimidation by the government or its officials.
He added that compelling workers and teachers to submit their PVC numbers as a condition for salary and running grants payment or promotion amounted to undue intimidation and crude blackmail.
The candidate made these declarations while speaking with reporters in his Isan-Ekiti country home in Oye Local Government, the last town he visited in his three-week campaign tours of the 132 towns and villages in the 16 local government areas of the state.
Fayemi promised to provide visionary leadership through his eight-point Agenda to redirect the state to the path of growth and development after four years of rudderless leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
He lamented that Fayose shut down the School of Agriculture Technology in Isan Ekiti and took away all the tractors and other modern farming tools in the school “at a time many other states are breaking new grounds in agriculture development and food sufficiency”.
Fayemi explained that the College of Agriculture was designed to assist in training manpower in the agriculture sector that would in turn boost agricultural production in the state.
He also lamented that Fayose “out of ignorance” stopped the Youth in Commercial Agricultural Development (YCAD) scheme by his administration, saying that all the poor decisions by Fayose’s administration had drastically affected agricultural production in the state.
Fayemi promised to re-open the College of Agriculture and revitalise YCAD scheme, including other social security and empowerment schemes initiated by his last administration.
He also said that the state government under his watch would build one cottage industry in each of the local government areas to provide employment for the teeming youth.