The All Progressive Congress (APC) in Akwa-Ibom State has called for the redeployment of the Resident Electoral Commissioner, police commissioner and adhoc staff in the state before the Saturday guber and state Assembly polls.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, Sunny Udom, Director General of the campaign organization of the gubernatorial candidate of the APC in Akwa Ibom State, said the party has already petitioned Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission( INEC) Attahiru Jega, on the matter.
He said the call for the redeployment was based on alleged malpractices, fraud, rigging, manipulation of results and replacement of INEC adhoc staff during the last presidential and National Assembly elections.
Udom said apart from the fact that election did not hold in several units, the state REC, Mr. Austin Okojie, allegedly manufactured fake results in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He alleged that security operatives were also involved in the fraud.
“ In most polling units across the state, original result sheets, also known as Form EC8A for the presidential, Form EC8A(1) for senatorial and Form EC8A(11) for the House of Representatives election were not provided. And because these result sheets were not provided, no result was announced or pasted in any of the polling unit in the state. In addition, APC wards and council agents did not witness or participate in collation of results”, he said.
Udom added: “Following the development, thousands of Akwa Ibom people went on a protest march, led by the APC governorship candidate, Mr Umana Okon Umana and Accord Party governorship candidate, Mr Samuel Akpan. A few of the protesters went to INEC office, where they met with the REC, Austin Okojie. The REC acknowledged that there was widespread irregularities and promised not to release the result. However, a few hours later, the results were released. Many serving commissioners including political appointees were also deeply in perpetrating violence during the exercise. An officer of the Civil Defence Corps attached to the poll”.
“Also, the PDP in Akwa Ibom State did not present any candidate for election as senator for Akwa-Ibom North-West. Godswill Akpabio was presented by the PDP as candidate for Akwa Ibom North-east senatorial zone as in Form CF002C. It is therefore wrong by law for the REC to declare Chief Godswill Akpabio as the elected senator for Akwa Ibom North-West senatorial district”, he added.
Udom, who urged INEC to ensure the use of Card Reader during the gubernatorial and state Assembly election, maintained that the machines did not fail in the state.
Also speaking, National Vice Chairman of the APC in the South-South zone, Hilliard Eta, urged relevant bodies to urgently look into the petition and complaints of the party, as according to him, anything short of that could lead to crisis in the state and region.
He alleged that election did not take place in any of the South-South state, and that the electorate are waiting for the relevant body to take a decision on the matter.
“Relevant bodies must act fast. They should not wait for the situation to disintegrate into violence before they act. We don’t need bloodshed,” he said.