The Peoples Democratic Party PDP, Imo State chapter, has raised alarm over what it referred to as a calculated plot by the Hope Uzodinma-led All Progressive Congress APC government in the state to manipulate results of the November, 11, governorship election through ‘’massive voter identity theft’’.

The party stated this in the text of a Word Press Conference signed by its State Publicity Secretary, Collins Opuruzor and made available to the press.

The PDP expressed regret that ‘’Governor Uzodinma and his failed APC government in their desperation to remain in office, against the wish of the people threw caution and decorum to the wind by requesting that Imo people should submit the highly sensitive details of their PVCs, National Identification Numbers (NIN) and Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) to their agents and appointees without recourse to the security implications.

Text of the World Press conference dated May, 18, 2023 reads as follows:

‘’Text of World Press Conference on the Desperate Attempt by Senator Hope Uzodinma to Derail the Forthcoming Governorship Election in Imo State and Truncate Democracy through Massive Voter Identity Theft, Criminal Harvest of PVCs and Compromise of the BVAS.

“Gentlemen of the Press, today’s briefing offers us an opportunity to be upfront with Imo people and Nigerians about the threats and landmines already activated by the jittery, failed and outgoing Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, to derail and manipulate the forthcoming governorship election in the State so as to perpetuate himself in power.

“Two days ago, Imo people woke up to hear at hat 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’’.