CSO, Observers demand cancellation of​ Abia​ governorship poll

Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji

A coalition of Civil Society Organisation and Election Observers has called for the outright cancellation of the governorship election in four local government areas of Abia State.

The councils are Obingwa, Osisioma, Ugwunagbo and Isialangwa North.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared the April 11 governorship election in the state inconclusive. It fixed the supplementary election in the four local government areas for April 25.

However, while presenting its interim report, the ​c​oalition demanded the total cancellation of the election because of the alleged interference of the Abia State Government and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in the poll.

The leader of the Coalition, David Anyaele, of Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, accused the PDP stalwarts of thumb-printing ballot papers in their homes and snatching ballot boxes.

He asked INEC to redeploy all erring INEC officers found culpable of playing ignominious role in the controversial gubernatorial poll in the state.

“We demand ​(​for​)​ total cancellation of the four Local Government Areas, Ugwunagbo, Osiosioma, Obingwa and Isiala Ngwa north; not some pulling units or wards in those areas because reports from our teams of observers show there is no elections in these areas,” Mr. Anyaele said.

“With negative public perceptions of the elections in the state and ahead of the rerun, INEC should take every necessary step to protect the integrity of the election as a way of strengthening the trust of the electorate in the voting process and should guide against interference by the incumbent and other political and public office holders.

“Deploy the corrupt INEC officers who have in one way or other compromised in the inconclusive election to uphold the commission integrity in organizing a transparent and credible election.

“The results released in these LGAs are highly questionable due to the level of voter apathy in the gubernatorial election. On security issues, the CSO demanded that adequate deployment of security personnel to the affected areas should be a priority.”

Mr. Anyaele said during elections, party agents should have access to the ward and local government coalition centers.

He said this was one of the issues experienced in the last election where agents of the opposition party were not allowed into the coalition centres by the security agents.

He demanded the deployment of those involved in the controversial election.

Mr. Anyaele also called on the INEC not to back down on the use of the smart card readers in the state to forestall any form of irregularities as planned by some political parties.


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