The Imo state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has charged the Inspector General of police and the Director General of the State Security Services, to investigate the activities of Governor Hope Uzodinma and some of his appointees who ate allegedly harvesting Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs, from Imo electorates using the newly introduced Imo State Benefit Number exercise as a ploy.
The opposition party, in a press conference on Thursday, through its state Publicity Secretary, Collins Opuruzor, said that the exercise is currently going on in all the polling units in the state where agents of the government would promise the eligible voters of better life and to remove them from poverty by surrendering their PVCs.
According to the party, the unsuspecting voters are also requested to submit their Voters Verification Number (VIN), Bank Verification Number (BVN), and National Identity Number (NIN) to the agents.
The party described it as a ploy to manipulate the November 11 Imo governorship election to the favour of the candidate of APC, Senator Hope Uzodinma.
Hear him, “two days ago, Imo people woke up to hear that Senator Uzodinma had dispatched appointees and agents of his government to all the polling units in the State to commence the illegal harvest of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) of eligible Imo voters. In order to hoodwink Imo people into releasing their PVCs, these agents of the rejected regime came up with a phony scheme of issuing what they termed “Imo State Social Benefit Number” to the people.
“According to their deceit, the Social Benefit Number would give the people a better life and save them from poverty and disease. With this barefaced lie, many people in Imo have now surrendered their PVCs and become victims of voter identity theft designed for the cloning of the PVCs and front-loading of the BVAS ahead of the forthcoming governorship election in the State.
“It is important to highlight that this latest anti-democratic onslaught launched by the APC regime in Imo State to indulge in the treasonable compromise of the BVAS was brought about by the recent Supreme Court judgement on the Osun State governorship election, which upheld the BVAS as the primary source of voter accreditation data.
“Apart from taking hold of their Voter Identification Number (VIN), Imo people are further beguiled to submit their Bank Verification Number (BVN) and National Identity Number (NIN) to the agents of this infamous regime. With these highly sensitive details, the desperate regime of Senator Uzodinma can track the location of anyone in Imo State for arrest, harassment, intimidation, and possible elimination. Also, monies in their bank accounts have become completely unsafe.
“Gentlemen of the Press, the salient point to note is that the regime of Senator Uzodinma, which is the chief creator of rural poverty in Imo State, has at last weaponized and deployed poverty as an instrument for electoral fraud. Imo people are now promised food and medicine on the condition that they yield to electoral fraud by submitting their PVCs, their only tool for political emancipation.
“To bring home the situation in Imo State, an authoritative economic intelligence watchdog called “Clacified” just last month, ranked Imo FIRST in the prevalence of rural poverty in the Southeast Region, and FIRST in Nigeria’s misery index. This is as a result of the catastrophic failure of governance in the State and also a direct consequence of the willful and cruel diversion of the sum total of N206 Billion belonging to the local government system by the regime of Senator Uzodinma in the last forty months.
“Imo PDP is deeply troubled by the Federal Government’s silence over Senator Uzodinma’s continued use of Imo State as a guinea pig for all anti-democratic and fascist experimentations. The enablers of Senator Uzodinma in Abuja should realize that the plot to deny Imo people the right to choose their own governor on November 11, 2023 will be an invitation to anarchy. To be clear, Imo under Senator Uzodinma has become a theater of bloodshed and human rights abuses, and this must never be allowed to continue. Never again!
“Our Party, therefore, calls on the Inspector General of Police and Director General of the State Security Service to investigate the activities of Senator Uzodinma and to immediately apprehend and prosecute his appointees and agents who are involved in this massive harvest of PVCs, voter identity theft and plot to compromise the BVAS.
“Our Party urges Imo people to keep faith with PDP and continue to support our Governorship Candidate, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, who has the character and proven track record to deliver good governance, and a clear roadmap to liberate the State from the maelstrom of squalor, misery, insecurity, infrastructural decay and educational miasma, and to make Imo safe again.”
But reacting to the claims, the Special Adviser to the Governor of Imo State on Public Communications, Sir Collins Oghalaa, said that the PDP likes to play to the gallery to achieve cheap popularity, adding that the opposition party has not recovered from the Supreme Court loss since 2020.
“The PDP has no other story to tell Imo people. It is either whining about insecurity, which Governor Hope Uzodimma has tackled to the glory of God and support of Imo people, or mourning over its loss of Jan 14, 2020. It has absolutely nothing else to say but to recycle these stories.
“The PDP tried to deceive Imo people with the lie that the governor has done nothing since 2020, but it has backfired, as the Governor’s achievements are there for everyone to see. No one needs to be told about these achievements as they have all seen them. The PDP has run out of falsehood and is dwarfed by the governor’s efficiency and achievements.
“If the PDP has a modicum of integrity left in it, it should apologise to Imo people on bent knees for stealing the people’s mandate, wasting our precious time and resources and running an illegal administration led by an illegal governor. The PDP should be refunding all the monies it pilfered while it illegally occupied the government house.”
He however described the claims by the opposition party as totally untrue but most expected from it (PDP).