By Chidi Nkwopara, Chris Ochayi & Emmanuel Elebeke
OWERRI-The new supervisory Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in the rescheduled governorship and House of Assembly elections in Imo State, Aniedi Abasi Ikoiwak, has said he was leading three other RECs that will handle the supplementary poll in the state.
Ikoiwak disclosed this after a closed door meeting with heads of security organisations at the Port Harcourt Road office of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Part of the decisions TheY reached is the resolve to have a free and fair elections in the state.
He said: “All the laid down procedures for the election would be strictly followed as all the materials, which were yet to arrive, would be distributed in the full glare of all the party agents and the press.”
Ikoiwak said there would be an information desk where all the numbers of all security and INEC officials involved in the monitoring would be made available, adding that reports received from all the election areas could be easily transmitted to those detailed to cover the exercise.
Meanwhile, Ikoiwak has appealed to all the contestants to leave the electoral body alone, promising that they will conduct a free and fair poll.
… as APGA warns INEC against use of FUTO staff
The All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, has advised the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, against recruiting staff of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, FUTO, as adhoc staff for tomorrow’s supplementary gubernatorial elections in Imo State.
National Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Umeh, who raised the alert while speaking in Abuja, alleged that staff recruited from the institution for the purpose of the exercise would compromise the process.
APGA’s governorship candidate, Mr. Rochas Okorocha, and the incumbent Governor Ikedi Ohakim of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are the two major contenders in the supplementary poll.
Chief Umeh recalled that “before the stalemated election, we had cried out that INEC should not recruit adhoc staff from FUTO.
“But majority of the ad hoc staff recruited by INEC as collation officers for the inconclusive April 26 election were from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri.
“You people know that Professor Onwuliri is the Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Owerri. Professor Viola Onwuliri, Ikedi Ohakim’s running mate in the governorship election was also a lecturer in FUTO, and the wife of the vice chancellor.
“We had reasoned that taking adhoc staff from FUTO will affect their impartiality in this election and it played out.”
Warning against further using staff of the institution, Chief Umeh recalled how a staff of FUTO, who acted as the collation officer at Ikeduru local government area, was caught by soldiers with INEC election materials while trying to smuggle the results to INEC office.
… and cleric, too
AS the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC gets set for Imo State’s gubernatorial re-run election scheduled to hold tomorrow, a renowned prophet and Pastor-in Charge of God’s Covenant Worship Centre, Prophet Johnchris Chukwuoha, has cautioned INEC not to allow itself to be used by those who do not want the plan and purpose of God to manifest in Imo.
He also urged the commission not to rubbish the good reputation it had earned so far.
Prophet Chukwuoha, who spoke against the backdrop of Imo State governorship election of April 26 that was adjudged inconclusive by INEC, said God had a hand in what was happening in Imo State, and advised the authorities concerned to allow justice prevail.
According to him, no one fights God and gets away with it. He recalled similar incidences in 2007 and 1999 when justice was diverted against the popular wish of the people and that of God.
Prophet Chukwuoha, who prophesied about the ADC plane crash, the Jos and Kaduna crises and many others, disclosed that Mr. Rochas Okorocha had been chosen by God to govern the people of Imo State.
Imo re-run: PPA guber candidate backs Okorocha
The governorship candidate of Progressive Peoples Alliance, PPA, in the botched Imo State gubernatorial polls, Chief Uche Nwaole, has declared his support for Chief Rochas Okorocha of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA.
Addressing his supporters during a campaign tour of Mbaitoli Local Council Area, Nwaole said God had confirmed Rochas Okorocha as worthy and capable of leading Imo people, stressing that no matter how people might try to stop him, God will definitely place him in the Government House, Owerri.
Nwaole promised that his loyalists will closely work with Okorocha, as well as ensure that he wins, adding that the voice of the people will be heard and implemented.
Responding, Okorocha thanked the people for what he described as their massive support during the botched governorship election.
He urged them to do more by going into the hinterland and sensitising the people to vote for APGA, Friday.
Okorocha reminded the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, that by virtue of the content of the Nigerian Constitution, governorship election should be completed 30 days before the swearing-in of the winner.
“It is, therefore, very clear that the planned supplementary poll runs counter to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Okorocha said.