The National Assembly candidates of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ebonyi State have called for outright cancellation of the elections conducted on Saturday.
They said the exercise was marred by widespread irregularities and should be annulled and a fresh election conducted.
DAILY POST reports that the aggrieved candidates made their feelings known at a press briefing in Enugu on Tuesday.
The media briefing was jointly addressed by Onu Prince Nwaeze, Ebonyi South Senatorial Candidate, Festus Ifesinachi Odii, Ohaozara/Onicha/Ivo Federal Constituency Candidate, Pharm. Tony Ekoh, Afikpo North/Afikpo South Federal Constituency Candidate and Dr. Peter Ogeali
Ebonyi/Ohaukwu Federal Constituency Candidate.
They alleged that the election was manipulated by the Ebonyi State government in connivance with security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Their statement reads:
We wish to formally make a statement regarding events that happened in the presidential and national Assembly Elections held on the 23rd of February 2019.
We are candidates of APC for Senate and National Assembly in Ebonyi State.
Recall, that a few days ago, our colleague, the Senatorial candidate of our Party for Ebonyi South came to Enugu to address a Press conference which was as a result of insecurity of our party members in Ebonyi State of which he was a victim. Owing to the widespread violence targeted on our members before, during and after the just concluded elections and consequent of some verifiable threats, we hereby make the following statement.
1. Massive irregularities and breach of electoral acts. The Presidential and National Assembly Elections in Ebonyi witnessed flagrant abuse of the electoral acts regarding how elections should be conducted. A template that saw the jettisoning of card readers, massive thumb printing of ballot papers, pre-writing of results, denial of party agents access to polling units, use of Hoarded PVCs, over voting and violence against party members. These was prevalent in Ohaukwu, Ohaozara, Ebonyi,Ivo, Abakaliki, Afikpo South, Afikpo North, Izzi, Ishielu, Ikwo, and Onicha Local government Areas.
2. Mutilation that Invalidated Valid Votes of APC. Valid votes gotten by APC was randomly rendered invalid through double thumbprinting on such votes. This was the case in Ohaukwu, Ohaozara, Ebonyi,Ivo, Abakaliki, Afikpo South, Afikpo North, Izzi, Ishielu, Ikwo, and Onicha Local government Areas.
3. Vote buying and Inducement. PDP thugs and agents openly shared rice and money to induce voters. This was the case in Ohaukwu, Ohaozara, Ebonyi,Ivo, Abakaliki, Afikpo South, Afikpo North, Izzi, Ishielu, Ikwo, and Onicha Local government Areas.
4. Suppression, abduction and intimidation of APC agents and members at polling units. The Governor’s aides , thugs of PDP, Soldiers invaded polling units and chased away, battered APC agents. Some were abducted to some unknown places . This gave PDP opportunity to carry out massive electoral irregularities in Ohaukwu, Ohaozara, Ebonyi,Ivo, Abakaliki, Afikpo South, Afikpo North, Izzi, Ishielu, Ikwo, and Onicha Local government Areas.
5. Use of hoarded PVCs for multiple Voting. The PDP thugs distributed hoarded PVCs given to them by INEC for multiple Voting.
6. Non Usage of Card Readers. Card Readers was not used in all polling units of Ohaukwu, Ohaozara, Ebonyi,Ivo, Abakaliki, Afikpo South, Afikpo North, Izzi, Ishielu, Ikwo, and Onicha Local government Areas.
7. Irreconcilable Votes. The ballots massively thumbprinted could not be reconciled at Polling units , Ward collation.
8. Agents of APC did not and was not allowed to witness Voting, Counting and collation of results from Polling units, collation centers and LGA.
9. Collaboration with INEC ad-hoc staff , Police,Army and Civil Defence. The above irregularities was aided and facilitated by the collaboration of INEC ad-hoc staff in the polling units across the stated local Government, army, Police and Civil Defence.
On the above premise, we make bold to say that the Presidential and National Assembly Elections in Ebonyi State was not free or Fair, there was widespread irregularities and violence against APC. The results announced by INEC was not the true reflection of votes cast in Ebonyi State and should be cancelled.