Abia State chairman of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Hon. Chidi Nwosu, has urged the National Assembly and the presidency to comprehensively amend the Electoral Act to stipulate measures that would eliminate ‘cancerous and perennial electoral dysfunction in the country’s electoral system.’
Nwosu, who spoke to journalists in Umuahia, said after assessing both the national and state elections in the state, his party discovered that the gubernatorial and state Assembly polls in the state were characterized by massive irregularities.
He listed ballot snatching, harassment of voters, manipulation of results’ figures at Ward, LGAs and collation centres, use of some already uploaded Card Readers, which were found to be in bad working condition, as some of the anomalies. He added that at local councils and state constituencies collation, collation officers entered arbitrary figures, “in fact, rather allocated figures to parties of their interest, whereas it was a premeditated ploy to manipulate election results.”
This is just as stakeholders in Imo North and Okiwge South, led by Senator Nneji Achonu, enjoined Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to explain the delay in announcing the results of election in the constituencies.
The stakeholders’ intervention followed agitations in Imo State over INEC’s delay in announcing the result of the senatorial election for Imo North and Okigwe South Senatorial Districts, which were concluded on March 9, 2019. They listed the candidates for Imo North as Hon. Engr. Patrick Ndubueze (PDP), Charles Onyirimba (APGA), Ndubuisi Emenike (AA), and Senator Ben Uwajumogu (APC).
According to the stakeholders, the Returning Officer for Imo North, Prof. Ohajianya, allegedly announced Ben Uwajumogu as winner even while collation was still in progress, recalling that due to massive outcry and prompt intervention of INEC head quarters, the announcement was not recognized, and no Certificates of Return were issued in respect of the two constituencies.
“We gathered reliably in Owerri that the results have been moved to INEC headquarters,” the stakeholders stated, stressing that in the Federal House Okigwe South, the candidates were Jonas Okeke (PDP), Emeka Nwajiuba (Accord Party) and Achike Okafor (APC).
“After the first election on April 23, INEC ordered a rerun in Isiala Mbano LGA, Ehime-Mbano LGA and some polling units in Onuimo LGA, Ihite Uboma and Obowo due to irregularities. Till now final results are yet to be announced,” they added.
The Abia SDP chairman disclosed that Election officials, especially Ward and LGA Collation Officers compromised their positions by entering figures that never emanated from unit results Form (EC 8B) on Ward and LGA results EC 8B and EC 8C respectively.
To buttress his claim, he said SDP governorship candidate, Dr. (Mrs.) Blessing Nwagba, was allocated 2,191 votes, whereas his party presented 4,062 committed party agents in the 4,062 voting points in Abia State.
He added: “The electoral officers, by their conduct and actions, compromised their offices and positions. For the enthronement of good governance at all spheres and structure of the country so that poverty is reduced to its minimum, political parties should present only their credible members for elective offices.”