The All Progressives Congress (APC), Enugu State chapter, has accused the state resident electoral commissioner (REC), Mr Emeka Ononamadu, of manipulating the March 9 elections in the state by handing over the result sheets to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of Election Day.
The party might withdraw from the election if INEC failed to produce all the original result sheets, the state chairman of the APC, Mr Ben Nwoye, said while briefing newsmen after he led a protest march to INEC’s office in Enugu Thursday.
The REC and police were not fair to all stakeholders in the election, he stated.
He alleged that PDP agents led by a serving senator from Enugu North senatorial zone of the state, and the party state chairman, Mr Augustine Nnamani, had taken full possession of all the sensitive electoral materials at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) office in Enugu.
In the presence of policemen, PDP leaders were removing result sheets at CBN to various council areas, Nwoye claimed, while he was walked out of CBN premises when he went there to answer distress calls from some of his party agents.
Nwoye: “To my utmost chagrin, the state chairman of PDP, Augustine Nnamani, was given a cushioned seat in an air-conditioned room inside CBN while his members including the serving senator were removing the electoral materials.”
When he asked why APC agents were not allowed inside by policemen, the REC told him that his agents came late, an excuse Nwoye described as false.
“PDP agents, masquerading as agents of the numerous smaller parties were all over CBN having a field day, under the cover of INEC and police,” he said, adding that the policemen even told him that they were acting on instructions from above.
It was clear that the state REC and the police were already compromised by PDP, Nwoye stated, but unless the result sheets were produced by INEC the APC would be left with no option than to boycott the election on Saturday.
“We have moved away from vote buying to election and security buying. The REC is pretending to be fair, yet he is not fair. The police are pretending to be fair, yet they are not fair.
“PDP claims they are popular. Why won’t they allow the only strong alternative party to contest? This particular election, if it goes on this way, we will not participate.”
The Appeal Court this Thursday reinstated former senator Mr Ayogu Eze as the governorship candidate of APC in Enugu State. A lower court had removed him and made Barrister George Ogara the candidate.
The March 9 governorship poll in the state will be a straight fight between the PDP candidate and incumbent governor, Mr Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi, and Mr Eze.