Posted by Theresa Moses, Lagos | 18 April 2015 | 3,021 times
The Abia State Civil Society Organisation yesterday waded into the governorship election controversy in the state with a call for total cancellation of votes from Osisioma, Ugwunagbo, Obingwa and Isialangwa North Local Government Authorities, not some polling units or wards in those areas because “reports from our teams of observers show there is no election in these areas.”
At a world press briefing organised by collation of civil society/election monitoring group over the conduct of election in Abia State held this afternoon in Ikeja GRA, Lagos, the group expressed displeasure over series of irregularities and abuse of electoral process which was experienced in the state gubernatorial election.
“We deem it fit to say that it is indeed a sorry state of affairs which must not be allowed to triumph in Abia state especially at this era where the wind of cogent and undeniable change is blowing across our political institution landscape and history,” it said.
The group decried a situation where an election result has been concealed by the returning officer but was forced to reverse the decision by the ruling party chieftain.
“His action amounts to undermining the power vested on the state collation and returning officer and abuse of constitution and electoral act,” it also stated.
The group also demanded the following: “adequate deployment of security personnel’s to the affected areas, deployment of independent local and international observers across the country, emphasise on the use of card readers which is of utmost paramount, state machineries such as local government chairman, commissioners and other political appointees of the ruling party in the state should not be allowed to meddle or interfere in the electoral process, demands that coalition centres should not be moved out of the local government headquarters, and delivery of electoral materials such as ballot paper and result sheet must before and after the election be securitised by INEC officials, security agents and party agents with attention on the number of material assigned to each polling units and the remaining or unused ones after the election”.
Responding to question on the allegations that Obingwa Resident Electoral Commission accused Alex Otti’s camp of offering N50 million bribe; that their thug shot someone at Umuahia INEC office and that their agent snatched result sheets, Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor of the Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy and Development (FENRAD), said he was not aware of the allegations.
“We demand that the independent electoral commission should deploy all erring INEC officers found capable and have played a role in the controversial election in the state and action to take to investigate their activities with view to prosecuting and sanctioning them, if found culpable under the law,” he said.
Speaking to journalists at the press briefing, Senator-elect, Abia Central, Chief Ahamdi Nweke said: “It was a wonderful thing that the observers saw what has been happening in Abia where governor Orji, and other top PDP officials stormed the collation centres of the gubernatorial election, truncating the electoral process and subverting the will of the people, thus making it easy for returning officer and state corrupt INEC officers to undermine the credibility of the election with reckless impunity.”
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