By Tony Edike
AWKA – Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Anambra State, Comrade Tony Nwoye, Sunday, rejected the outcome of Saturday’s election, asking the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to cancel the election in its entirety and conduct a fresh election to be personally supervised by the commision’s chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega.
Nwoye told a news conference in Awka that the “the election is far below average and cannot be said to be free and fair” adding that “it was heavily manipulated by INEC in collusion with security agents in favour of Governor Peter Obi’s preferred candidate, Willie Obiano.”
Nwoye said: “I have been involved in many elections in this country since my secondary schools days and particularly in 1993 Presidential election where Moshood Abiola emerged, I have never seen this type of rigging. I have never seen an election where the military men and police were harassing and intimidating voters, assisting the INEC and APGA agents to chase away the PDP members at the collation centres to write results. Our people were wounded at different places like Enugu-Otu, Eziagulu-Otu, Aguleri ward one, Oromaetiti Anam, Umueze Anam, Orumba Norh, Orumba South, Aguata, part of Ihiala, Lilu, Uli, Ebenebe Awka North and so many other places.
“They perfected the rigging so much that they excluded many people from voting. Josephine Anenih did not vote, myself did not vote, my father didn’t vote, my polling booth that had more than 500 voters not up to 70 persons saw their names in the voters register.
“We would have still won but the worst part of it was the type of rigging where PDP supporters were chased away and prevented from voting. Besides, the result sheets did not come with the electoral materials to many polling booths. At the end of the day, whatever is the outcome of the election is unacceptable to us.”
“We thought that the election will be highly free and fair when we were assured that there will be enough security men but the military and police personnel deployed turned out to be the people that they used to rig the election. It is very unfortunate.”
Nwoye said that the election conducted on Sunday at Obosi ward was a “fluke” explaining that it was wrong to conduct election on a day when the people should be in their churches to worship God.
According to him, the election was part of the plots by the INEC Chairman, Prof Jega and Governor Peter Obi to crown the APGA candidate, Willie Obiano at all cost, “but we want to let them know that there is tomorrow.”
He said that the result of the election “is highly unacceptable to me and I call for total cancellation of the election and we want Prof Jega to come down here and conduct the election by himself.”
But reacting to calls by Ngige and Nwoye for the cancellation of the election, founding chairman of the PDP in the state, Chief Joseph Okonkwo, Offia-di-Ulu, said he participated in observing the election in the state, describing it as “very free, and transparent”. He added that nobody in his right mind would call for the cancellation of the election.
Chief Okonkwo , who was a Special Assistant to the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe in the second republic said: “ Ngige ought to have understood that he joined a wrong party that deported his kit and kins from Lagos state and expected nothing good to come out of that experience. The common man in Igbo land will continue to react to that unpatriotic act of Lagos state Governor, Bbabatunde Fashola.
“Ngige should not forget that he has not moved any motion in the senate nor seconded any one moved by his colleagues since he entered the senate. He shouldn’t have expected anything more than what he saw in the election.”
On Nwoye, who contested on the platform of his political party, Okonkwo said he had no reason whatsoever to complain because a lot of things were fundamentally wrong with his nomination, adding that in any election only the popular candidate would be elected.
Okonkwo therefore advised Ngige and Nwoye to accept defeat and congratulate their APGA counterpart, who he said, performed excellently and deserved victory in Saturday’s election.