Presidential, NASS polls fraudulent in our state
SECRETARY, Media and Publicity Committee of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Campaign Council in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Etim Etim, states that last week’s presidential and National Assembly, NASS,elections in the state did not reflect the wishes of the electorate. Notwithstanding, Etim is confident that the APC would emerge victorious in the forthcoming governorship polls.
By Charles Kumolu
What is your impression about the presidential and NASS elections and how did it go in Akwa Ibom?
There were no presidential and National Assembly elections in Akwa Ibom State. The result that was paraded was concocted by the PDP government in the state. They colluded with some powerful interests alongside NYSC adhoc staff to deny the people of Akwa Ibom their right to vote. They knew that the card readers would be used to accredit voters, so they allowed accreditation to go on but did not provide result sheets. So as soon as the accreditation was over, thugs swooped on voters, who queued up to vote and chased them away.
They made away with voting materials to the homes of political appointees to do the voting . This is what happened in the state. The state governor was a senatorial candidate and he announced his score the next day. He claimed to have scored over 400, 000. How can he score close to half of the total voting population in the state in his senatorial district.
How can that be possible in a senatorial district of about 10 local government areas? Clearly that was an over-kill. 400, 000 votes is what some states like Abia have. That is why our senatorial and National Assembly candidates are challenging the outcome in the courts. And we are sure of taking back our mandate.
Where there security agents when all these were happing?
The election was so violent that someone was killed in my local government. It did not happen at a polling unit. The thugs were shooting indiscriminately into the air. What I am saying is verifiable, the people of Akwa Ibom can corroborate what I have just said.
Have you people made any formal compliant to the security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC?
We have made a formal statement to INEC. We have sent our representative to the commission’s headquarters in Abuja. We have also issued a statement to let the world know what happened in Akwa Ibom. What we had was fraudulent exercise that was done by the ruling party in the state. We can not allow such to stand in the interest of our democracy. Akwa Ibom people are constitutionally entitled to choose who represents them without interference with the electoral process.
In spite of your claims, your party’s presidential candidate won the presidential election. Can we know if the victory has any import on the political setting in your state?
The significance in our state is not quantifiable. The victory would not have been possible without the input of Nigerians. And I thank them for liberating our people. It is a new dawn for Akwa Ibom and Nigeria. As soon as the results were announced, thousands of people in the state poured into he streets to celebrate. The pictures were published on the social and conventional media.
That tells you that our people worked for change at the national level and are still working for change in Akwa Ibom. It further showed that most Akwa Ibom people are APC members. Even PDP memberes joined in celebrating Buhari’s victory in Akwa Ibom. The import is that our people have known that they cant have a governor in the opposition party. They cant afford to do that because they have not done that in the past. We have to be with the governing party so that we can help in building a better Nigeria.
Our people will massively vote for Umana Umana as the governor of the state so that he can assist Gen Buhari in bringing the desired change in the state. The message is clear and the people know that the battle has changed. Our people should know where their loyalty should go to.
So anyone who was coerced to join the fraudulent process in the state should have a change of mind. I also appeal to parents whose children are serving as National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, members to call them to order, because we learnt that most of them were compromised with a lot of money in our state. No youth coper should be introduced to electoral fraud which is a crime against Nigeria.
What plans do you have to forestall possible outcome during the governorship polls?
We have asked our people to ensure that their votes are protected during the governorship elections. They should protect their votes from perpetrators of fraud. With this mass movement, I don’t see how they can kill all of us when we decide to protect our votes. I have not seen any evil; regime that has killed all its people. So, PDP government can not kill of us in Akwa Ibom in its determination of producing the next governor of Akwa Ibom State.
We are appealing to the security agents to refuse being used to scuttle the will of the people on election day. Our people are ready to resist any form of tyranny and electoral fraud in order to realise their aspiration of having Umana Umana as the next governor of the state.
He will work with Buhari to provide good governance for the people of Akwa Ibom. The electoral map shows that Buhari won every where that means that he is a nationally accepted leader.