Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 1 April 2015 | 3,351 times
The Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism in Anambra State, Chief Tony Onyima, yesterday, at a joint press conference with some aids of Governor Willie Obiano in Awka, condemned last weekend’s National Assembly elections in state saying it was hijacked by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) against the wish of the people.
According to him, the majority of the votes cast were for the All Progressive Grand Alliance, (APGA) but it was short changed by the PDP to ensure victory for their party.
“After a careful study and analysis of the just concluded National Assembly Elections in Anambra State, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) feels compelled to make the following observations:
“As a result of a massive goodwill built in one year of incomparable good governance by Governor Willie Obiano and following our intensive campaign efforts Ndi Anambra responded in a remarkable way by turning out in large numbers at the polling stations where they voted massively for the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).
“The results from the various polling booths across Anambra State clearly indicate that APGA won the last National Assembly Elections in Anambra State with a wide margin.
“The will of Ndi Anambra expressed in the final outcome of the voting exercise was brazenly violated and voting results manipulated at the collation stages of the electoral process by anti-democratic forces, most disturbingly by elements of Igbo extraction in the PDP who felt encouraged by their so-called links to Abuja.
“It is disturbing in the sense that even though the abusive act of thuggery was perpetrated in the current election, it re-awakened in the consciousness of Ndi Anambra, a sad feeling of the return of impunity for which Anambra earned bad name in Nigeria years ago,” he stated.
Onyima noted that beyond the election, the act of brigandage throws up a worrisome concern for governance, adding that the forces that had insidiously given refuge to all kinds of perverse conducts in Anambra State, which included armed robbery, kidnapping and excesses in high places, are rearing their ugly heads again.
He said that the late arrival of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials at the various polling stations on the polling day significantly affected the level of participation of the electorate in the voting exercise.
He said failure of the card-reader device in most parts of the state created serious and avoidable delay in the voting process which drastically affected the overall outcome of the exercise.
As a result of the delay, he maintained, voting went on in some major areas till late into the night, creating room for the manipulation of the voting process and leading to undesirable electoral results.
The Commissioner noted that the anti-democracy elements in the state that are also notable figures of the PDP were directly involved in manipulating the electoral process in key areas of the state by kidnapping INEC officials, hijacking the results from polling stations and re-writing the actual figures in favour of PDP candidates.
He cited Ihiala local government area as a good case in point where an attempt to stop some PDP elements from altering the results of the voting exercise led to the death of two Nigerians – a police man and an innocent citizen.
Onyima added, “What is instructive in this incident is that citizen Ifeanyi Ubah, the Chairman of TAN, accompanied by Mr.Olisa Metuh, PDP National Publicity Secretary, were allegedly physically present at the scene of the incident.
“A similar scenario played out in Idemili North Local Government Area where an invading mob led by a Federal Minister brazenly thwarted the will of the people by altering the results of the votes cast in the entire council area, in favour of his junior brother, the PDP candidate, against what were recorded in the various polling booths.
“On the whole, the March 28, 2015 National Assembly Elections in Anambra State were massively manipulated by agents of the PDP across the state who brazenly overwhelmed INEC officials, electoral agents and presumably independent observers to achieve a dubious and temporary victory in Anambra State.
While thanking Ndi Anambra for enduring long hours under the sun to cast their votes for APGA candidates, he called on the state Resident Electoral Commissioner to urgently look into the complaints made with a view to ensuring immediate redress that will restore the faith of Ndi Anambra in the democratic processes as well as the inevitable triumph of the supremacy of the will of the people in the nation’s democratic culture.
•Photo shows Onyima
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