The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Plateau State, Jeremiah Useni, on Wednesday alleged that the state governor, Simon Lalong, defrauded the state to the tune of N20bn.
He alleged that Lalong, who is the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, diverted the money he said meant for the rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons into his re-election campaign.
Useni made the allegation at a press conference in Jos, the state capital, ahead of the supplementary election holding in the state on Saturday.
He claimed that the money was being used to manipulate the election in favour of the APC against the wish of the people.
He said he and his party would not accept any result of the election that did not reflect the verdict of the people who he said voted massively for him during the March 9 governorship poll.
Useni said, “The N20bn given to the state for the rehabilitation of IDPs as a result of crisis is what Lalong is using for this election.
“He went and said he has rehabilated the victims but the people came out to say that he has not done anything.
“In some areas where he is supposed to give the affected people or communities like N100,000, he will just give them N10,000 and in some other areas, N5,000. That is how he mopped up the money he is using to rig the election.
“Civil servants and our traditional rulers were threatened to either deliver to APC or lose their jobs or be dethroned.
“In one instance, I personally went out to Tudun Wada Collation Centre and freed voters who some security agents asked to lie on the ground.
“Votes were simply allocated to APC or bought with large sums of money. In some places, PDP supporters were not allowed to vote, or their ballot papers were torn.
“Many young people were recruited as thugs without any regards for their future well-being. They even burnt some ballot boxes.”
The governorship candidate claimed that elections had never been this bad in Nigeria in general and in Plateau State in particular.
But Lalong has denied the allegations, saying the PDP governorship candidate is busy deceiving the people of the states instead of him to concede defeat.
The governor spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Mark Longyen.
He said, “The statement credited to the obviously already defeated PDP governorship candidate is simply tantamount to the last kicks of a dying horse.
“It is merely a last ditch propaganda by a desperate politician who has clearly lost out in the election but has refused to call and congratulate the winner and concede defeat so he could redeem himself and recover his bruised ego.
“For sure, if he had documentary evidence of any funds that were diverted for the purpose of rigging the election, he would have published it long before the election date, or even right now.
“The retired general should restrict himself to licking the wounds of his already imminent defeat in the gubernatorial rerun election, instead of engaging himself in fabricating falsehood that will further damage his reputation in the state.”