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Saturday Poll: PDP targets 40 million votes

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… Floats PVT, Situation Room, other measures to check rigging


The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has said that it is sure of over 40 million votes from its members across the states in Saturday’s Presidential election while also warning that there will be great repercussion should the election be rigged.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday in Abuja, PDP Campaign Spokesperson and Chairman of Strategy Committee of the Presidential Campaign, Osita Chidoka, also said a lot of measures have been put in place to ensure that every vote counts.

Chickpea stated: “A state-of-the-art Parallel Voting Tabulation (PVT) system is in place: The PVT is a scientifically proven, best practice technique, to hold election authorities accountable, particularly when there is a lack of trust, and the results are highly contested. The PVT is a tool that will assure that PDP partisans accept the results of the election, and that the country remains peaceful and respectful of its differences. We are aware that other PVTs will be conducted by civil society. Our methodology accounts for several different scenarios to ensure continued collation of the results in the event of any disruptions with collation process. Hard copies of the signed voter tally provided to all party agents by the NEC officers, will be transported to the central command center should future disputes need to be reconciled.”

The party said a national network of fully equipped Situation Rooms and call centers have been established. “PDP has established a reporting system for the PVT through the wards, to the district headquarters, to the States to the national tally center. The system has redundancies built at all levels – in the event of internet or comms shutdown or failure or any other eventualities. The scope of the effort is historic for Nigeria, and it will provide us with statistical certainty to accept or challenge the declared results.”

The party said it was deploying an unprecedented number of trained party agents to each of the 176,000 polling units across the country

“PDP agents have been trained in the electoral process, understand their rights to be present, and have data and SMS technologies to report the results as they are certified by the NEC officers at the polling units in real-time. The PDP has pivoted from recruiting first-time polling agents to recruiting high quality, educated individuals whose maturity and experience will help them manage and mitigate against challenges on election day. Systems tests, and dry runs being conducted to ensure our system is secure and fully integrated, from the polling unit all the way through to party leadership.”

Other measures put in place include a nation-wide hotline for the public to report malpractice as well as a national campaign to #DefendYourVote which he said is gaining traction with youth. He said an interactive Artificial Intelligence message will be sent from Atiku Abubakar as his final campaign message extolling people to come out and vote.

“The PDP has studied the APC ‘playbook’ from the Osun election, its attempts at voter suppression, including interference and intimidation of voters, journalists, and civil society observers. Most alarmingly, the security services were deployed to discourage voter turnout in opposition strong-holds.

“The PDP is concerned that the Osun playbook could be deployed again by the government especially in the states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta, Kaduna, Kano, and Rivers.

“In response to Osun and other incidents of electoral malpractice, and in ensuring a free and fair election in Nigeria, the PDP has adopted international best practices including; establishing a robust elections results management system and our wide array of intelligence collectors and patriotic public servants who are resolute in defending the Constitution and the integrity of our electoral process.”

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