By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—An appeal has gone to the management of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to “check the spate of massive manipulation of poll results, snatching of ballot materials at gun point and other crude and stone-age styled electoral malpractices”, as Imo State prepares for the supplementary poll scheduled for today.
Chief Ikedi Ohakim, who made the passionate appeal yesterday in Owerri, was also of the view that “one of the strategies adopted by those who knew they could not win elections except through mindless rigging and subversion of the will of the majority is to, in connivance, with their stooges at INEC, cause the disappearance of collation officers.”
While recalling with grief that “some security personnel were shamefully involved in snatching electoral materials, stuffing the ballot boxes and intimidating the voters”, Ohakim also observed that Governor Rochas Okorocha “did not keep anyone in doubt about his desperation to foist his party’s candidate on the people.”
It was the considered opinion of Chief Ohakim that the results purportedly endorsed by the Independent National Electoral Commission, as the authentic result for the election, does not represent the wishes of the people as evidenced in the results announced at polling booths and ward levels.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission must restore its tainted reputation by taking steps to ensure that the figures of voting as declared by its officials at polling booths and ward levels, are used in determining who won the elections. The idea of discountenancing the results entered on the relevant forms must be corrected, as it poses the most dangerous threat to our democracy,” Ohakim pleaded.