BY CHIDI NKWOPARA, OWERRI.
Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, has called for total cancellation of the presidential election in six local council areas of the state, even as he accused the military of aiding the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the alleged electoral fraud.
Reacting Monday, to the figures released by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Chief Okorocha named Oru East, Isiala Mbano, Ohaji/Egbema, Ngor Okpala, Aboh Mbaise and parts of Owerri West as some of the worst zones of alleged electoral fraud.
The Governor opined that apart from “unprecedented rigging”, the areas also witnessed abduction of agents of rival political parties, who were manhandled and forced to lie prostrate on the ground by soldiers acting on the orders of the federal government.
“Armed soldiers were used by the PDP as aides to the collation officers. There was no collation of results at the ward levels as prescribed by the Electoral Act. All the collating officers and presiding officers were directed to go and submit their results at the local government level from where they collected all the results from the booths in the presence of soldiers”, Okorocha alleged.
A visibly enraged Okorocha similarly blasted security agents for barring opposition party agents from entering into INEC office, while PDP officials had unfettered access into INEC premises.
Answering a question on his brush with security men at Ogboko, the Governor said that 250 students of the Rochas Foundation College, who he claimed were duly registered for the election and issued with permanent voters’ cards, PVC, were held hostage on trumped up charges and prevented from voting by soldiers.
“Most of these halpless children are orphans and I am their father. They duly registered for the election but soldiers arrested, humiliated and detained them without food and water and they were only released the following day”, Okorocha recounted.
Answering another question, Okorocha denied that he tore INEC result sheets, adding that his convoy was shot by security agents and one of the boys in his entourage was seriously wounded and immediately rushed to Federal Medical Centre, Owerri.