By Anayo Okoli
UMUAHIA—HUNDREDS of youths drawn from the 17 local government areas of Abia State, Tuesday, stormed the state headquarters of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, protesting results of the National Assembly elections held last Saturday.
They alleged that the results of the elections, as released, were not a true reflection of the voting pattern as witnessed at the various polling units in their councils.
Displaying placards with such inscriptions as “Local Government Headquarters are rigging centres,” “stop sharing our votes,” “INEC, our votes must count,” “Democracy is not all about rigging,” the youths insisted on hearing directly from the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Professor Selina Oko.
However, they were not allowed into INEC promises by security agents.
Addressing the protesters after submitting their grievances to REC, the leader of the group, Nkem Nwosu, appealed to them to disperse peacefully after getting the assurance of the REC to look into their grievances.
He said: “The message has been handed over to INEC and they have promised to look into the grievances. I want you to disperse from here satisfied that your grievances have been taken to the appropriate quarters.
“We have articulated our grievance over the rigging in the last Saturday election; it is put down on paper here.
“We have advised the REC on what to do in the interest of peace and it has been submitted to her.”
Meanwhile, the result of Abia North senatorial zone had not been officially released Tuesday, prompting the various candidates who converged on INEC headquarters, Umuahia, to trade accusations, even as each of them, particularly Mao Ohuabunwa of PDP and David Onuoha of APGA are laying claims to victory.