Series of Election Observers who took part in the September 28 Edo State gubernatorial election, have advised the People's Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the Ondo State gubernatorial election, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) and his supporters to stay glued with their votes at the collation centre and never allow the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone collation and counting till the following day in the absence of pressmen as practised in Edo election, describing the act as a new rigging strategy.
Evaluating the gravity of the dangers embedded in such antics orchestrated by the All Progressive Congress (APC)-owned INEC, the team said what happened in Edo State was not just an election rigging but a daylight robbery aided by the federal government under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari.
"It baffled everyone of us when INEC officials said that collation will be stopped and postponed till the following day in Edo State. We all thought it was impossible, so nobody gave it a deep thought or considered it workable until the deed was done.
"When the officials drove out everybody including the gentlemen of the press who were carrying out their official assignment, we were a bit confused and started raising eyebrows that how could such be allowed in a saner clime like ours.
"Several attempts were made that night to make sure that the postponement of the collation and counting was nullified, because we have collated and counted votes overnight before in this country and heavens did not fall, but we were overpowered by the federal might.
"So unfortunate that our people were chased away from their votes by fully armed security operatives who acted according to the order given from the presidency. Edo election has gone, but the precedence lives on. So Ondo people should be prepared for the worse and remain steadfast in case such is thrown at them," Edo Observers admonished.
While condemning the INEC partisanship in the recent times, the team accused the presidency of using the instrumentality of the suppose-be independent electoral body to achieve ulterior motive against the general interest of Nigerians, describing the act as giving our democracy a poisonous pill to swallow.
They resounded the warning against postponement of collation and counting of votes in the forthcoming November 26 guber poll in Ondo State, maintaining that if what happened in Edo can be tried in Ondo State, definitely democracy will come to an end in Nigeria and the perpetrators shall not escape immediate judgment from the people.
In their further opinion, "We know Ondo people to be bold and brave, and that's why we are alerting them of the script which the INEC may want to act out in the coming election this weekend. Every anti-democracy act and move should be resisted to a standstill. If APC or INEC under any guise attempt putting into practice what happened in Edo in Ondo State, the electorates should not hesitate to take law into their hands because our federal government has proved to be irresponsible."
The team called on Mr. Eyitayo Jegede and his supporters to make necessary preparation and arrangement for two to three generating sets which can power the collation centre till dawn to prevent unnecessary excuses of blackout or whatever from the evil doers. They added that on no account should supporters of the contestants be chased away with teargas and pressmen denied access into the centre while collation and counting are going on to ensure transparency and fairness.