The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has cried out that the All Progressives Congress, APC, “is working towards rigging the November 16 gubernatorial elections in Bayelsa and Kogi state.
The party’s chairman, Uche Secondus, decried this while inaugurating campaign councils and national reconciliation committee for the elections in Abuja on Friday.
Mr Secondus, however, advised INEC to be neutral in the conduct of the elections to ensure that they were free, fair and credible.
He called on the international community and all lovers of democracy to show more than passing interest in the forthcoming elections in the two states.
Mr Secondus also advised President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC to enforce peace and the rule of law in the country.
The reconciliation committee is headed by a former Senate President, Sen. Bukola Saraki.
While the party’s campaign council for Kogi is chaired by Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, that of Bayelsa is headed by Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State.
While inaugurating the committee and the councils, he urged the reconciliation committee to work assiduously to reconcile all grievances members in the two states and bring them back to the party.
He said that the party should not go into in both Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections as a divided house.
Mr Secondus, who expressed confidence in the members of the campaign councils, advised them to work for the victory of the party in the two states.
He said that the campaign council had the task of ensuring that the electoral desires of the people of the two states were realised.
“I charge you to make sure that you bring the best of our programme for the two states during your campaign.
“Preach one man, one vote; obey all the rules and the laws of the land, because we are a party that believe in the rule of law.
“Make sure that we win in Bayelsa and Kogi states,” Secondus said, adding that the party had credible and best candidates for the two states.
He said that given the achievements of Gov. Seraike Dickson in the last eight years in Bayelsa and the current situation in Kogi, the elections in the two states would be smooth contest for PDP.
In his response, Saraki said that his committee would do its best to reconcile all aggrieved members in the two states.
“The work of winning Kogi and Bayelsa starts with reconciliation and end with reconciliation, because the two states belong to PDP,” he said.
Mr Saraki said that the driving message was that a government headed by PDP was better than that headed by another party.
Also speaking, Gov. Mohammed said that the issue of reconciliation in Bayelsa was half done, as former President Goodluck Jonathan had directed him to accept the responsibility.
“I am taking this responsibility with the seriousness and energy that it deserves. Politics is not a joke.
“If the other side is planning evil, we will plan excellence. If they are planning violence, we will plan peace. If they are planning a loss, we will plan victory,” he said.
On his part, Mr Makinde promised that his committee would run issue-based campaigns in the Kogi State and do the party proud.
He said that the elections in the two states were an opportunity for the electorate “to press the reset button” that will end in the ultimate victory for the party in 2023.