Peoples Democratic Party Senators representing both Ebonyi North and Ebonyi South senatorial zones, Dr Sam Egwu and Micheal Nnachi; and senatorial candidate of the party for Ebonyi Central, Hon. Lazarus Ogbe, on Monday, called for the cancellation of Saturday’s election in the state.
Also asking the National Independent National Electoral Commission to cancel the election is the senatorial candidate of the Labour Party for Ebonyi South, Hon. Linus Okorie.
According to them, the National Assembly and the presidential election in Ebonyi were marred with irregularities and other forms of electoral manipulations.
They spoke at a joint press conference at the INEC Headquarters, Abakaliki, on Monday.
Speaking, Egwu, who is a former Ebonyi governor, accused the state government of influencing the electoral process, adding the electorates were denied the opportunity to exercise their fundamental human rights.
He said, “The truth of the matter is that what is happened in Ebonyi State as far this election is concerned, is a sham. You should know that the use of BVAS was not adhered to. People are just voting as if we are still in the old period where you just collect a sheet of paper, write numbers and pass it on to INEC officials. That’s just what is happened.
“My prayer is that the results being churned out by these fraudulent INEC staff should be cancelled, and let the BVAS-generated results be used. Nobody should use what has been given, but we are saying the results should be verified by the BVAS. We are challenging these results.”
Also, LP senatorial candidate for Ebonyi South, Okorie urged the INEC to suspend the exercise. According to him, Umahi was desperate and knew his political imprisonment was near if he lost the election.
He said, “I request the suspension of return of senatorial election conducted in the district on February 25, 2023 pending the conduct of elections in areas where election did not hold or were undermined in accordance with the provisions of the electoral act 2022; and other irregularities.
“I call for the suspension of the election pending full compliance with the provisions of section 24 of the electoral act 2022, especially section 24(3) in the wards and polling units enumerated above. I also call for the re-collation of the polling unit results across the 5 local government areas of the senatorial district before any return can be made.”
The Senator for Ebonyi South Zone and PDP senatorial candidate, Nnachi accused Governor David Umahi of meddling with the future of the people with his ‘treachery’ in the election.
He said, “Of course, all of you know I’m the Senator representing the Ebonyi South Zone. And so what Dr Egwu and the other senatorial candidates have said is exactly that, and that’s a shame on this government. Umahi never came close to me in the election, except that he resorted to the use of his thugs and manipulated the voting process and these thugs beat up people and had field day influencing the process, even at Libolo in the Afikpo South LGA of Ebonyi State.
“These thugs now invalidated our results and forged theirs. This is the height of impunity and irregularity in any electoral process. We won’t allow it. We won’t. If I lose, I prefer to lose well. I defeated Umahi in the two polling units in his Umunaga Ward and it happened in the presence of everybody until Umahi unleashed his thugs on the people, after sharing money. The governor is treacherous.”
On his part, Ogbe said, “Mine is a little bit different because they have not completed the computation of results in Ebonyi Central. But from what we have seen, the electoral malpractice in the entire Ebonyi State is just similar. There is rigging everywhere and it’s the height of it.
“Here, there is adding and allocation of numbers or figures to APC candidates. For instance, in Ikwo LGA of the state, they have continued to panel beat, and rework the results that came out from Ikwo, for the past 24 hours. Unfortunately, what is coming out from the Ward or polling units do not tally with what has been brought to the INEC collation centre.”