Oguta State Assembly Election Points The Way To What To Expect in 2015”, Says Lagos ACN.
The Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria has said that the present concocted stalemate over the outcome of the bye election in Oguta State Constituency in Imo State demonstrates the dangers Nigeria faces in 2015 if the collated results of just a single state assembly election is subjected to such drama as we are witnessing at present. It says that INEC is again allowing itself to be dragged into a selfish political profiteering business of one party at the expense of a free and fair process it is supposed to supervise, if it continues to hold on to the collated results under the guise of inconclusive election.
In a release in Lagos, signed by the Lagos State Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Joe Igbokwe, the party notes that although INEC has said the election is inconclusive, it failed to advance more reasons for declaring an election where results have been obtained and signed by duly vetted authorities in 201 out of 209 polling units as ‘inconclusive’. It said that INEC is still allowing itself to be tied to the vested interests of certain individuals in the ruling PDP at the expense of its own credibility, as the unnecessary stalemate over the Oguta State Assembly election is showing.
“We have been watching the unfolding events in Oguta Local Government with keen concern, as it points the way to what Nigerians should expect in 2015. We noted the heated build up to the election, which even led to the ambushing and attack on the convoy of the state Governor by PDP agents. We read the yet unrefuted reports of how PDP chieftains like Senator Hope Uzodimma, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, Mr. Goodluck Opia, among other chieftains of the PDP invaded Oguta on polling day with platoons of armed mobile policemen, arresting, detaining and molesting voters who took photographs of polling processes and efforts at shortchanging the voting process. We read how violence and all manners of intimidation were unleashed at innocent voters, eager to exercise their franchise by chieftains of the Imo State PDP with armed mobile policemen at their tow.
“From independent reports of the election, election was held, results collated and duly signed in 201 of the 209 polling units in Oguta and the overall result showed that the APGA candidate polled 9,595 votes while the PDP candidate polled 7,584 votes, thus the APGA candidate is in clear lead after results of 201 polling units were collated. We wonder why the Imo State Resident Electoral Commissioner should declare a result that has reached this level of finality as ‘inconclusive’, in a re-play of the same process that happened in Imo State during the 2011 general election, which nearly set the state on fire. We wonder what is in Imo INEC to warrant such shoddy approach to elections, as a way of meeting the interests of the state PDP.
“We are alarmed that the present stalemate is being planted by INEC acting the scripts of a desperate PDP and its chieftains who still believe they can manipulate and twist the outcome of a mere state assembly election, where elections have been concluded and results declared and signed by the various agents and parties. We see the present procured stalemate as enough warning to the gross impunity the nation is to expect from the PDP in 2015 and that this is coming few weeks after the same kind of impunity was displayed in the election of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum where the result of a free and fair election was deliberately distorted to reflect the partisan interests of the PDP.
“We are worried that a state assembly election should provoke the reaction of the presidency, which fell short of calling a spade by its name and carry out a deliberate action to disclaim the wild acts of his PDP menservants who are at the center of the entire debacle. We see this as a clear signal that 2015 is endanegerd if nothing comprehensive is done to overhaul the process and establish a process that will guarantee that the people’s votes count.
“We demand the full declaration of the result as it meets the requirements of the Nigerian electoral law and a clear winner has been established from the results released so far. We urge INEC to avoid being used to achieve the partisan interests of the PDP, as this will lead to serious electoral crisis in Nigeria. We warn that the use of the police to achieve inordinate political ends by the PDP is highly embarrassing of the image of the police and demand that a deliberate law on the use of the police by politicians be enacted and enforced to keep the police within its constitutional roles in the electoral process.
Above all, we do not see any light in the existing electoral process in Nigeria as it is highly manipulable by the ruling party and very weak to curtail the excesses of the ruling party. We demand comprehensive electoral reforms in line with the reports of the Justice Mohammed Uwais Electoral Reform Panel to avoid a country-wide cataclysmic implosion as from the 2015 general election.”
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