Umuahia— Labour Party’s governorship candidate in Abia State for next week’s election, Chief Stanley Ohajuruka, has appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan and INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, to direct that the gubernatorial contest in the state be as free as the last presidential election.
Ohajuruka said both President Jonathan and INEC chairman could do this by directing and ensuring that electoral materials were distributed evenly so that no part of the state was starved of such materials.
Particularly, Ohajuruka said Jega could make more history if he insisted that INEC staff don’t compromise, including the Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, some of who, he said, had already taken sides with the ruling party.
The Labour Party candidate, who denied withdrawing from the race, insisted that he was very much in the contest for Abia State government.
According to him, protection of votes will start from INEC. He said INEC could prove its neutrality by ensuring that its staff was not compromised.
He also demanded that the number of accredited voters be made public and party agents sign before voting so that people will know how many people are to vote in a particular unit. He frowned at a situation where top government officials were given tags as domestic observers, alleging that they only go out to intimidate opposition parties in the field.
On a suggestion that opposition parties in the state meet with the state REC to trash out these issues, Ohajuruka alleged that the Abia REC is “inaccessible, he knows only the Government in power”.
He also appealed to the Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector-General of Police to call their men to order in next week’s election.