…Describes INEC As Compromised
A coalition of youth organizations in Abia State, has described as insensitivity and unacceptable the conduct of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections conducted on Saturday, February 25th, 2023.
Under the aegis of Abia Concerned Citizens for Development in statement signed by its leader, Comrade Emmanuel Munachim Onyenso, said the decision of INEC to go ahead and announce results of the elections even when most areas where yet to exercise their franchise showed they were not prepared for the elections. The Coalition insisted that what INEC did was to carry out an assignment against the will of the people. The statement added that the mandate of the people cannot be stolen through the backdoor even as it vowed to ensure that the nation’s electoral umpire does the right by conducting elctions at places where elections could not hold owing to varying degrees of challenges.
The group who expressed disappointment at the Independent National Electoral Commission’s inability to keep to their words even after admitting and declaring that elections did not hold in some polling units in the constituency especially at Obingwa and Osisioma Local Government Areas with over forty thousand voters disenfranchised voters, demands that INEC as a matter of responsibility hold elections at the various wards and polling units where elections did not hold, insisting that no one can be declared winner over an inconclusive election.
According to the statement, in Obingwa 4 Wards, 7 Polling Units with a total of 8316 registered voters were disenfranchised while in Osisioma, 4 Wards, 68 polling units and a total of 37,029 registered were also disenfranchised, amounting to over forty thousand persons deliberately disenfranchised by INEC, which highlighted the problems caused by INEC theereby stopping the teeming masses, who came out in their numbers to cast their ballots for candidates of their choice but ended up waiting under the scorchy sun all day long.
Citing the electoral act, the group insisted that the Independent National Electoral Commission had until 7 days after the elections were conducted and inconclusive to investigate and conduct elections at such locations to ensure the people exercised their fundamental human rights. They called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to include the two affected Local Governments in the March 11th elections to give peace a chance.
According to them, some polling units did not have electoral materials or officers dispatched to them despite voters having waited for hours, and accused INEC of denying the people of their right to exercise their civic responsibility.
“People came out en mass to vote but INEC officials and materials were no where to be found,” they said.
They wondered how the electoral umpire concluded on elections while thousands of persons could not exercise their franchise owing to their failure to ensure the timely arrival of materials and the electoral staff, or the non arrival of electoral officials at some polling units, and the lack of result sheets for House of Representatives elections among other irregularities.
The organization also frowned at the lies told by INEC on the use of the Bimodial Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, to transmit results technologically, while accusing the electoral umpires of manipulating and transmitted results manually. The group called on relevant stakeholders to call for accountability by INEC as well as a rerun at the polling units with immediate effect.
While calling on the people of Obingwa/Osisioma/Ugwunagbo Federal Constituency especially the youths to give peace a chance, the vowed to ensure that the Independent National Electoral Commission Conducts the rescheduled elections across the constituency adding that a petition had been written against Abia INEC to that effect.