Opposition wants legislative polls cancelled in Imo

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The Action Congress

of Nigeria in Imo State has asked the Independent Electoral Commission

(INEC) to cancel last Saturday’s election into the National Assembly.

According to the leadership of the party, the election was fraught with massive irregularity and thus cannot stand.

The state chairman

of the party, Charles Ubah said for elections in the state to be

credible, the chairman of INEC, Attahiru Jega, must as a matter of

urgency redeploy all the principal officers of the commission in the

state.

“We are making this

complain to INEC so that we can participate in the next elections,”

said Mr. Ubah. “We are suspecting that there is calculated ploy by INEC

to make the incumbent win,” he added.

Mr. Alex Obi, a

leader of the party further urged the electoral body to disqualify all

contestants involved in violence and rigging. Mr. Obi alleged that

agents working for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were

involved in large scale rigging including carting away of ballot papers

and boxes. This, he said they achieved with the help of fake policemen.

The party also said

it was appalled when electoral officials received ballot boxes which

were snatched by agents of the PDP with ballot papers stuffed into

them.

The party alleged

that this was most prominent in Uguta, Egbema ward A, B, and C; Mbutu

in Aboh Mbaise local government; Ideato North and Ideato South local

governments.

Mr. Obi said he was

disappointed that INEC disregarded their complaint on the use of

lecturers from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) as

collating and returning officers.

Prior to the

election, the ACN alongside other opposition political parties had

petitioned Mr. Jega expressing concern over the recruitment of

lecturers from FUTO as collating officers stating that the running mate

to the incumbent governor, Voila Onwuliri, was, until her joining the

race, a professor at the institution.

Unreasonable call

The spokesperson of

the PDP in the state, Blyden Amajirionwu, in a telephone conversation

with our reporter said the call by the ACN is unfounded as the

elections in the state were properly conducted.

“The election was properly conducted and we won”, said Mr. Amajirionwu.

“Imo people have

spoken and they spoke in favour of PDP. This is not the first time

they’ve been doing that since 1999. Rather than asking INEC to cancel

the election we commend INEC for doing a wonderful job,” he added.

Mr. Amajirionwu

also called on aggrieved opposition members to go to the tribunal to

prove their cases if they have any evidence of ballot box snatching. He

also denied that the state INEC officials were bias in favour of the

PDP.

According to him,

the fact that the state resident electoral commissioner has not been

redeployed as requested by the opposition is an indication that the

leadership of INEC were impressed with the job she is doing in INEC.

Underachievers

Generally,

opposition parties in the state fell short of their pre-election

ratings. The performance of the ACN, whose majority of member are made

up of former PDP members, has come as a complete surprise to many

indigenes of the state. Out of the three senatorial seats in the state,

the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) won one seat while the

others were cleared by the PDP. Chris Ayanwu of APGA defeated former

Minister of Aviation Kema Chikwe in the election to the senatorial seat

of the Owerri Senatorial District.

In Imo West

Senatorial District, also popularly referred to as the Orlu Zone, Osita

Izunaso floored the former governor of the State Achike Udenwa to

secure the senatorial seat. The PDP also emerged victorious in Imo East

Senatorial District.

Similarly, in the election into the House of Representatives, the

PDP has won three out of the four results released so far, with the

APGA clinching just one.


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