Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), traded words on Saturday over the conduct of Ebonyi South Senatorial bye-election.
While the PDP alleged massive irregularities, the APC thumbed up the conduct of the election.
Senatorial candidate of the PDP, Silas Onu, speaking to reporters at his Ishieke polling unit, Uburu Ohaozara Local Government Area, accused APC of vote buying, ballot snatching and other irregularities.
He said: “It is probably bye and not an election. That is what we are seeing, especially in Ohaozara Local Government Area. There is no election.
“The APC has vowed he must win. When you hear somebody say he must win, he is using thugs , compelling people to vote. In fact, they are holding people’s hands to thumb print. When you vote for PDP, they will thumbprint for another party to invalidate it.
“Apart from that, they have been snatching ballot boxes . I do not know what they want to do with it but because the election petition tribunal or the supreme court has said BIVAS is of no use, they are now carrying ballot boxes, going to somewhere to thumbprint, not caring what accreditation figure in BIVAS will say. Of course, they will get the result sheet, write accreditation figure, write their result and move on”
“This is not healthy for democracy. I am satisfied that because of me, the whole of APC in Ebonyi South are not sleeping. It says something about the acceptance that I have here. So, I am satisfied to have caused them sleepless night, I am satisfied to have made them spend so much money to steal the election”
“If I was not in the race, they would have gone to sleep and write their result. The fact that they tried to stop me through a procured court judgement and that did not stop me is a testament to their deaperation in this election.
“So, we will review everything. We have one or two areas we already have them by the balls and we will see what happens after the elections. I am not someone who just jumped into an election, I know this things will happen and I know where I will come from to stop them. They should go ahead”
“You see I have just left the polling unit because what they are doing there, they are trying to provoke fight so that they will say Silas Onu is a violent person. Since morning if you had come, this is only the poling unit that has been so busy.
“Actually even an APC Leader came here and dropped money and left. All of them have been coming because they want to make sure by hook or crook, they win the polling unit and I have asked my people not to engage them.
“This is not an election. If it is an election, people will vote. Are you seeing anybody around? They are just there drinking under the tree. If you go there, you will see them drinking alcohol and their bar woman is there sharing money to them. She goes and she thumbprint on behalf of the people”
“I have video of where they are sharing money. If you call security agents, they will say what can we do and that I can call my own thugs to engage them. I will not do politics that way. Our democracy has descended into this level of disgrace and lawlessness,” he lamented.
But APC Chairman in the state, Stanley Emegha, disagreed with Mr Onu describing the election as free and fair.
He accused the opposition of laying the complaints because they know they have lost the election.
He commended INEC and security agencies for conducting a credible and fair election.