‘INEC’s statement confirms plot to rig elections in Abia’

Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu


• CNPP, others call for Amina Zakari’s removal, Yakubu’s resignation
• CNPP wants reversal of electoral chief’s appointment

A group, Alex Otti Campaign Organisation yesterday alleged that Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has confirmed the alarm it raised that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, were planning to rig the governorship election in Abia State.

The Director, Media and Publicity of the organisation, Mr. Kazie Uko, made the allegation in a statement.The group had in a statement alleged their clandestine plot to collect details of people’s Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs), or purchase outright the cards from unsuspecting members of the public, especially those in the rural areas.

“To realise this evil agenda, the government printed fake employment forms, brought some fertilisers and palm seedlings, and other gifts which are given to their unsuspecting victims in exchange for their PVCs.” The group quoted Yakubu as saying: “A new method of vote-buying is being devised. We have received credible information that some partisan actors are now going around buying up PVCs from voters, or financially inducing them to collect the VINs (Voter Identification Number) on their PVCs.

“In some instances, telephone numbers and details of bank accounts of voters have been collected. By collecting the PVCs, their intention may be to deprive the voters of voting since no one can vote without the PVC. “By collecting their phone numbers and bank details, the intention is to induce voters by electronic transfer of funds to their accounts, since it will be difficult to buy votes at polling units.”

Meanwhile, another group, Justice and Development Initiative, has called for the resignation of the INEC Chairman.The group made the call in a press statement by its President, Tom Chris Morgan and Secretary, Henry Bassey in Uyo yesterday.

According to them, the appointment of Mr. President’s relative; Mrs. Amina Zakari, as chairperson of the Committee on National Collation Centre, is a clear testimony to the INEC’s boss lack of capacity and ability to stand firm in his decisions.

Similarly, opposition political parties, under the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) have joined in the calls for Zakari’s removal.CNPP, in a statement by its Secretary General, Willy Ezugwu yesterday, advised “the electoral umpire to listen to its own advisory organ like IPAC,” saying appointing Zakari with such responsibility may spell doom for the nation’s democracy.

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