The Peoples Democratic Party has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to cancel the result of the governorship election in Imo State.
The Commission had on Sunday night declared the election inconclusive and ordered a supplementary poll on a date yet to be fixed.
The INEC Returning Officer in the state, Ibidapo Obe, said electoral malpractices were detected in some local government areas.
Before the election was declared inconclusive, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress,
incumbent governor Rochas Okorocha, was leading his PDP challenger by 385,671 votes to 306,142.
The spokesperson of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, said at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, “There is genuine demand for immediate halt and cancellation of Imo election. In Orlu East the Resident Electoral Commission confessed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) forced them at gun point to announced the result. The REC and the police confessed that they were working for the governor.
“In Ideato North there were no elections. INEC should order fresh election. In the next one week, there should be fresh election. Let the will of the people prevail. We want genuine democracy.
“We are stressing this cancellation because the result has not been announced and the election has been declared inconclusive, that is why we are demanding the immediate cancellation. If INEC refuses to cancel the election, let it go back to the results that were collated at the polling units, where PDP was leading.”
In a statement earlier in the day, the ruling party had questioned the conduct of some INEC officials and security agencies during Saturday’s Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections.
In the statement signed by Mr. Metuh, the party alleged that the elections were characterized by widespread irregularities supported by certain INEC and security officials to the advantage of the APC. He wondered if such officials were intimidated by APC’s blackmail and propaganda to deliver its candidates in the polls.
“Evidences abound of widespread irregularities across the country with INEC rejecting results from the strongholds of PDP candidates for no just cause while accepting the those of the APC,” he said.
“In Lagos, Adamawa, Plateau, Benue, Kwara, Ogun, Oyo, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Niger, Yobe, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi and Imo states, there are proofs of electoral manipulations ranging from underage voting, ballot stuffing and intimidation of PDP supporters to alteration of some aspects of the process in favour of APC.
“In Abia state, but for the outcry of the people and timely intervention of the INEC headquarters which rejected the illegal cancellation of results from three local governments and strongholds of the PDP by the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) even after they have been announced by the returning officers, the PDP would have been robbed of its well deserved victory in those areas.”
The PDP said as a responsible party committed to national unity and democracy, its members had remained peaceful and orderly.
It noted that its candidates had been conceding defeat in the interest of peace while it elected to channel our protest to the appropriate quarters.
“The same have not been seen of the APC, which has unleashed its members to cause mayhem and harass our supporters in states where PDP candidates clearly won, such as Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Ondo, Rivers and Gombe states,” It said.
The party urged INEC to take disciplinary actions against its erring officials.
“We strongly call to question the sincerity of some of the observers especially regarding their failure to raise issues on the irregularities that characterized the voting pattern in most of the states where APC candidates have been declared winner,” it said.
The PDP asked all its elected and appointed officials to be ready to make sacrifices, ensure judicious use of resources and gear up for a rescue mission in the overall interest of the Nigerian people.