The elections were not free and fair, ACN stalwarts say.
The Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has accused security agents of intimidating its party supporters during the Abuja council elections on Saturday.
Leaders of the party made this claim in separate interviews with PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday.
A former chairman of the Abuja Chapter of the party, Sunny Monidafe, said the elections were not free and fair as portrayed by the Federal Government.
He alleged that security agents in Abuja were used as instrument by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to distort a process that should have been free and fair.
“I personally beg to disagree that the Saturday’s election was free and fair, the security forces were everywhere intimidating people. They were so armed to the teeth shooting in the air, shooting at people.” Mr. Monidafe said.
He said the security agents killed a man simply identified as Jafaru in Abaji and injured two others, Chinedu and Mohammed, in their bid to ensure the election goes in favour of the PDP.
Mr. Monidafe recalled the Abuja Minister, Bala Mohammed’s statement that the PDP would win in the council elections in the Nigerian capital. He said Mr. Mohammed’s loss at his polling unit was a coy to clear suspicions of his complicity in the supposedly rigged elections.
“He used that to throw off any suspicion, so that he can always say he lost in his unit, but how many votes were there? There are about 3,000 registered voters in the ministers polling unit in life camp only about 50 came out to vote, He saw the turnover and loosing that was no big deal,” he said.
The former ACN boss complained that agents of his party were prevented from monitoring the elections because the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, failed to create proper awareness on the use of identification tags.
He alleged that ACN party agents were denied entry into polling units because they did not know about the process of identification and therefore were not properly identified according to INEC’s standard.
The current chairman of the ACN in Abuja, Mohammed Bello, also said the election was not free and fair.
He also identified the presence of heavily armed security officers parading Abaji as an intimidating force creating mayhem in the election.
Mr. Bello, like his colleague, Mr. Monidafe, claimed that the security officers killed one person and injured two others.
He alleged that some thugs led by the PDP Secretary were caught in Abaji local council, with some guns. The thugs were handed over to Abaji Police but were released after 30 minutes, the ACN boss said.
“This past election was completely rigged, even the corpers were used by opposing parties, and also people were not allowed to access their polling units to vote. There were heavily armed security officers who were busy intimidating intending voters,” Mr. Bello said.
When PREMIUM TIMES contacted the FCT command spokesperson, Altine Daniel, she said the police was not aware of any killing or arrest of party officials with guns in Abaji.
“I am not aware of it, such an incident has not been reported, I’m not aware,” Ms. Daniel said.
The INEC spokesperson, Kayode Idowu, debunked claims that the ACN had no prior knowledge of the standard identification process. He said INEC made customised tags for all party agents irrespective of the party.
“I am very sure of places like AMAC and some other places and we made sure it was replicated in all other polling units; irrespective of your party once you have the INEC tag you cannot be denied access into the polling units.
“And the law forbids campaign on the day of election, so if a party agent is seen wearing a party tag it simply means, he’s advertising his party which is against the law,” Mr. Idowu said.
The Saturday elections saw the PDP winning the chairmanship seat in five area councils while the All Nigeria Peoples Party won one. The ACN did not win any chairmanship seat.