Say INEC officials compromised, results announced not true position of elections in the field
Accredited INEC observers under the aegis of “Coalition of INEC Accredited Observers” deployed to monitor last Saturday’s governorship and state house of assembly elections in Akwa Ibom State have confirmed that some officials of the Independent Electoral Commission compromised with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to turn the results against the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Addressing a Press Conference in Uyo, Tuesday, the Chairman of the Coalition, Mr Lordswill Umani expressed shock that what they witnessed firsthand in the field as observers was different from the verdict of the electoral umpire in the state.
Commenting on the outcome of the elections, Umani, commended INEC for carrying out its constitutional responsibilities but however pointed out the lapses tainted the credibility of the elections.
Disagreeing with INEC’s claim of conducting a free, fair and credible elections, Umani said with the “widespread vote buying across the polling units in the state by a political party called coupled with other underhand deals”, there was no way such a process could be adjudged credible.
He said aside PDP’s reliance on vote buying, 90% of INEC ad-hoc staff were either members of PDP or those sympathetic to their cause and had all been compromised.
“Ad-hoc staff in Ibesikpo, Onna, Abak and other LGAs were either members of the PDP, sympathizers, or supporters of the PDP. For example, unit 7, Ward 9 Obio Aduang in Asutan Clan of Ibesikpo Asutan LGA, ad-hoc staff and some INEC officials were guiding electorate on how to vote a particular party – PDP. This we believe is clearly against the electoral act and dignity of free, fair and credible elections”, the chairman of Coalition of INEC Accredited Observers submitted.
Reacting to the cancellation of results in APC strongholds, the observers also suspected foul play, arguing that elections were peaceful and devoid of violence in most of the areas cancelled by INEC.
“In Essien Udim, election was very peaceful and the people voted. For example, at Independence School, Ukana, there was massive turnout and APC candidates were declared winners with 1597 votes and every other polling units within the area.
“Election took place peacefully but the final announcement by INEC had 9 wards cancelled and only two wards were used to determine winners. As observers, we believe this is against the electoral act”, the statement reads in part.
The observers further stated that “P. Os, E. Os, R. Os in most LGA were compromised and the results presented does not the true position of elections in the field”.
The observers further stated that they were surprised that even in Ikot Abasi where they observed that the elections were very peaceful and orderly, even after winners were announced at the units, INEC changed the results at the collation centre and maliciously reduced it to less than 17000 votes.
The observers said the same scenario played out in most of the LGAs.