Civil Society Groups Call For Abia Election Cancellation

Civil Society organisations in Abia State led by the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, CCD have called for fresh elections in all the four affected local government areas of the state rather than some poling units where the independent National electoral commission, INEC said there would be re-election.

In a statement issued by its spokesman, David Anyaele, the group argued that the entire result of the April 11 governorship and state assembly elections announced by INEC were not a true picture of the will of the people but a manipulated result by some bad elements in the state bent on subverting the outcome in their own interests.

INEC had declared the election in the state inconclusive after there were wide cases of electoral fraud in some polling units or wards of Ugwunagbo, Osisioma, Obingwa and Isiala Ngwa north areas.

There were allegations that elections were not held in some local governments like Obingwa, IsialaNgwa North, Osisioma and Ugwunagbo because INEC officials were not present, and in some areas were they attempted to use ballot papers from 2011 elections were resisted by voters.

“We demand for total cancellation of the four Local Government Areas, Ugwunagbo, Osisioma, Obingwa and Isiala Ngwa north; not some polling units or wards in those areas because reports from our teams of observers show there is no elections in these areas.

“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,” Anyaele stated yesterday.

Calling on INEC to uphold its integrity in organising a transparent and credible election, Anyaele asked the Commission to redeploy those he described as the “corrupt officers who have in one way or the other compromised” in the inconclusive election.

He added that adequate deployment of security personnel to the affected areas is a prerequisite to having fair polls on April 25 when the elections would be concluded.

“We are demanding for the deployment of independent local and international observers across the country to the areas of the re-run elections. Emphasis should be placed on the use of the card readers which is of utmost paramount importance and the use of the incident forms in the case of the thumb-print authentication fails.

“State machineries (Local Government chairman, commissioners and other political appointee of the Ruling Party in the State) should not be allowed to meddle or interfere with the electoral process from the polling units to the collation centres,” Anyaele said.

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