Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Over 48 hours after the national assembly poll, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, has cried foul over the delays in announcing the result of the Abia central senatorial contest, claiming it is a ploy to manipulate the outcome against its candidate, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.
APGA also claimed that the delay in announcing the results was aimed at shortchanging it candidate for Aba North/ Aba South federal constituency, Hon. Alex Ikwechegh.
APGA Chairman, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, who addressed a press conference in Umuahia, expressed discomfort over the delays in declaring the results of the contest.
Ehiemere alleged that some persons in power were trying to take undue advantage of the delays to reverse the will of Abia voters in the affected constituencies.
Ehiemere also accused some powerful persons of conniving with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to cancel many polling units in Aba North and Aba South where APGA recorded much victory, and order a re-run.
The APGA Chairman cautioned INEC against any attempt to subvert the will of the people, vowing that any such attempt will be vigorously resisted.
He equally called on security agencies not to allow anybody manipulate the collective will of the people who he claimed voted massively for APGA candidates on Saturday.
Ehiemere claimed that both Senator Abaribe, and Hon. Ikwuechegh received massive votes, and urged INEC to stop any further delays in announcing the results of the polls.
He further said that about 50 polling units where election did not hold in Aba were not captured in the list of units for re-run election being circulated by INEC.
He identified some of the uncaptured units to include: Eziama Ward 1, Industrial Ward 2, Uratta Ward 6, Ariaria Ward 9, Old GRA Ward 7, Osusu Ward 4, Ogbor 1 Ward 10, all in Aba North.
Ehiemere alleged that materials meant for elections in the affected areas were hijacked by unscrupulous politicians with the active connivance of corrupt INEC officials.
He further said that in some of the polling units where materials arrived, the result sheets for the Senate and House of Representatives elections were missing.
According to him, some Supervising Presiding Officers disappeared with sensitive materials including result sheets.
The APGA Chairman further alleged that the results entered at the collation centres were different from the original copies of the result sheets obtained by party agents at various polling units.
“Our party agents were not allowed to witness the collation of results at the collection centres. As we speak now, some Presiding Officers with BVAS machines are yet to be located.”
“They hijacked result sheets, disregarded BVAS accreditation and cooked up results.”
Ehiemere said that two POs are still in detention at the Area Command Aba for making away with BVAS machines.
He noted that despite all these attempts to shortchange APGA candidates at the polls, results obtained at the various polling units indicated that voters massively gave their mandate to APGA.
APGA Chairman said that he rejected “the charade going on in Abia South and Aba North/ South federal constituency, and called on INEC to arrest without further delays, this needless march to anarchy.”