December 6, 2023

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Our votes for Obi, Chinasa were stolen, INEC must conduct fresh polls, Bende women cry out

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Our votes for Obi, Chinasa were stolen, INEC must conduct fresh polls, Bende women cry out
By Steve Oko
Voters, mostly women in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State, have alleged that their votes for the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi; as well as the party’s candidate for Bende federal constituency, Chief Iheanyi Frank Chinasa, were shortchanged.
Accusing the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, of compromise, they rejected the result of the February 25 polls in the area, and called for a fresh poll.
They insisted that Labour Party candidates swept the polls in Bende, and expressed shock at the megre figures allocated to them in the results announced by INEC.
The protesters who blocked the Uzuakoli/ Isuikwuato Road, displayed placards with various inscriptions such as:” We can’t be disenfranchised, our votes matter”; “We need another election that will be free and fair”; ” INEC refused to upload our results”, among others.
They said it was a broad day robbery for the votes of the people to be changed against their will.
The protesters faulted the results declared by INEC, saying it was doctored.
Wawa News Global reports that INEC had declared Ben Kalu of the All Progressive Congress, APC,  winner of the Bende federal constituency election after polling 10,020 votes.
Chinasa, according to INEC, scored 6, 818 votes to come second, while Nnenna Ukaeje of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, came third with 3,930 votes.
Speaking for the protesters, Mrs Chinechetam  Mbah, claimed that the failure of INEC to transmit results of the election from the various polling units contrary to the commission’s earlier promise, was a deliberate ploy to manipulate the outcome of the elections.
She also said that INEC deliberately delayed the arrival of voting materials in most polling units in the stronghold of Labour party to disenfranchise its supporters.
“The whole electoral process was faulty; Materials couldn’t get to all the polling units on time; and some of the BVAS were faulty and could not provide optimal performances”, she lamented.
“Results were not uploaded immediately after the votes were counted. They claimed there were network issues and they left with both the results and duplicates and uploaded results we suspect to be fake after 24 hours.
“INEC did not provide logistics and Transportation for all the polling units and so some polling units in different wards were disenfranchised”, she added.
Another protester, Mrs Grace Nnamdi from Uzuakoli Ward A, alleged that INEC took results with BVAS away without announcing winners at the polling units.
“There was no ward collation of results.There was over-voting in a lot of areas”, she alleged.
Similarly, Nkeiruka Obilor, and Nneoma Jonas, from Lodu Ward 005, said they voted for Labour Party candidates but INEC subverted the will of the people by awarding victory to other candidates.
They claimed that collation of results was done manually and without the agents of other parties.
Adding his voice, Mr Chibuisi Ukaegbu said INEC had dampened their morale from participating in future elections.
” They changed our results. It’s better they did not hold any election at all, and in future they should not bother asking us to vote because it’s just a waste of time. Votes don’t yet count in Nigeria”.
Another protester, Collins Okezie lamented that despite their insistence that INEC officials should upload their results immediately, the commission refused, “only to come up with strange results we don’t know where they cooked”.
He demanded  a fresh election to restore public confidence in INEC and Nigeria’s electoral process.
“A flawed system will generate distrust and increase the propensity of violence in an otherwise peaceful constituency, which will produce a ripple effect of further economic recession”, he added
Controversy has continued to trail last Saturday’s poll results in Nigeria following large scale manipulation of results.
There have been protests and calls for the cancellation of the results which were believed to have been compromised.
Six States of the federation have already approached the Supreme Court, seeking the cancellation of the poll results, and a fresh election that would be credible.
Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email; Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.
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