How PDP, AGPA Rigged Abia Guber Poll – APC
The Abia State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Ayim Nyerere, has petitioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) stating the alleged rigging that characterised the April 11 governorship election.
He said there was no governorship election in the state, adding that what transpired was a rigging competition between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
Nyerere who spoke to journalists in Abuja yesterday regarding his petition, said the party would want an outright cancellation of the polls and order fresh polls.
He described the April 11 contest as a show of desperation by the PDP and APGA who wanted to outsmart each other in a massive rigging exercise.
On this basis, the candidate said he had written to INEC, asking for the total cancellation of the elections.
According to him, the will of the people did not prevail in the polls, insisting that no single local government area in the state could be isolated from massive malpractice.
“With due respect, I don’t know if I might sound out of context not to refer it as an election, rather, I will say it was a rigging competition in Abia State because there is a difference between election and rigging.
“What actually took place in the state on April 11 was not election, but rigging because everything that has to do with election was quite absent.
“In election, you are talking about where the wish of the people becomes supreme. Where the people are allowed to express themselves as to whom they want as their leader but that was absent in what we should have termed election in the state.
“The competition was between APGA and PDP. You see, we are talking about a situation in this time of our democratic dispensation where in most polling units, there were no result sheets. In most polling units, ballot boxes were snatched with impunity. I don’t think it happened elsewhere because the degree of lawlessness in the state is very high.”
Nyerere also accused INEC officials and security agents of aiding and abetting the situation, saying it was responsible for the present crisis in the state.
Asked if the cancellation of some polling units in some local government areas was not sufficient to placate him, the APC candidate said it was not an objective decision by INEC taken into account the magnitude of the incident.
“They were part and parcel of what happened. They aided it because there is no way the original result sheets at the polling units couldn’t be among the sensitive materials that were brought to the centre. There is no way it could be in the hands of some people without the knowledge of INEC staff, and for the policemen who are supposed to protect them to be there while hoodlums would come to the polling units take all the materials put them in the vehicle and drove away.
“So, how will you describe it? How will you describe a situation from a polling unit where the results were supposed to be collated at the wards collation centres but in most cases there was nothing like ward collation centre in the April 11 election in the state. There was nothing like ward collation centre.
“They just burgle the whole results straight to the local government headquarters where fierce looking security men will just allow few people they want inside the hall.”
He added that: “However, we are not unmindful of the huge cost that it will cost the federal government or INEC but that is the path of honour on the part of INEC. You can’t talk about an election in a state where virtually everybody in the state will tell you nothing happened. That is the state in Abia state.
“So the only path of honour is to have the election cancelled. Where will you spare? The 17 local government areas had the same problems.
“We went to the chairman of the INEC telling them our position, describing in details what actually transpired and what I expect them to do is to investigate, and as I have said, the only path of honour for INEC is to cancel the election and start it all over.”
On whether APC will take part in the Saturday re-run election, Nyerere said they are watching to see the outcome of their petition to INEC.
“We are watching. We can’t pre-empt what they will do now, but cancelling is the only path of honour. We have made our position clear. Go and call anybody in Abia State nobody knows what is happening. People are confused.”