Owerri – The re-run elections organised in Imo North Senatorial District and three state constituencies by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday were partially disrupted by heavy rainfall.
The exercise had barely lasted for less than three hours in some areas before the heavy downpour thereby discouraging prospective voters to participate in the electorate process.
Former Imo State Governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, who spoke to journalists in his Okohia country home on Saturday, alleged that some persons were compromised.
Ohakim alleged that the compromising process in some parts of Imo North was to favour their preferred candidates.
“Information available to me revealed that some people who claimed to be owners of Okigwe zone are busy manipulating the re-run election without recourse to the implication of their actions.
“We are people of Imo North and we are to decide who will represent us, if anybody believes that he is the owner of Imo North and decide to subvert the process, he is trying.
“We will now know how the winner that engages through such corrupt way will lead us,’’ he said.
Ohakim, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said he was optimistic that PDP candidate would emerge victorious if the exercise was free and fair.
Ohakim said he had already cast his vote before the commencement of the rain, adding that the heavy rainfall might seriously affect the turnout of voters.
In some wards in Isiala Mbano Local Government Area, Ehime Mbano Local Government, and Obowo Local Government Area reports have it that there was low turnout of voters in most polling units.
Further reports that at Community Secondary School Amaraku, Ward 1, Osu Owere ward 2, Okohia Mbano Ward 1 and Okenalogho Secondary School in Obowo Local Government Area, the turnouts were impressive and peaceful.
Mr Obinna Onwubuariri, representing Isiala Mbano/Onuimo/Okigwe Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives described the election as free and fair in his Amaraku community in Isiala Mbano Area.
Onwubuariri, who voted at about noon at Community Secondary School, Amaraku Ward 1 told reporters that aside the initial delay recorded in the area due to misconduct of the Electoral Officer (EO) for Isisala Mbano, the exercise was peaceful.
“The EO for Isiala Mbano had earlier withheld the election materials for some areas including my polling unit.
“I called the national Chairman of INEC, who contacted his men in Imo before the EO released the materials,’’ he said.
Mr Chikwem Onuoha, the Chieftain of APC in Osu Owere, Ehime Mbano area expressed confidence that the candidates of APC would win both the Imo North Senatorial election and Isiala Mbano state constituency.
Onuoha argued that the performances of Imo state governor and the bold reform being carried out at the national level by the APC-led government were enough to attract victory for the candidates of the party.