… PDP decries manipulation of results, warns on next election
The 2019 general elections earlier postponed for logistic reasons were held across the 11 Electoral Wards in Ehime Mbano on Saturday, February 23 amid glaring deficiencies, and irregularities leading to disenfranchisement of many voters as the exercise started belatedly at 2pm and 4pm at various centres, instead of 8am.
Complaining bitterly about the shoddy arrangement and apparent irregularities observed, Engr. B Nwaluka, a political chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party lamented that late arrival of voting materials contributed in no small measure to the disenfranchisement of many voters.
According to him, accreditation and commencement of voting started at 2pm instead of 8.am scheduled by INEC. He observed that as at 11am voting materials were still being evacuated to the 11 polling units and 131 booths in Ehime Mbano.
Other noticeable hiccups that militated against the smooth conduct of the election included – missing result sheets, malfunctioning of Card Readers, vote buying and alleged manipulation of results by collation officials at INEC office.
Some of the centres where voting could not start by 4pm included booth “12” Central Sch, Umuakagu-Nsu in Nsu Ikpe ward where the voters refused to vote as they could not see the result sheets which were allegedly missing.
Dr. Athan Nwokoro, the PDP agent confirmed that the results were being manipulated by collation officials.
This view was corroborated by Engr. Ben Nwaluka a political chieftain and Dr. Ijeoma Ehieze, the APGA Candidate for Okigwe South Federal Constituency who accused the collation officer of doctoring and misrepresentation of result.
Dr. Ehieze spoke with The Leader alleging that the result of booth 6 Umualumaku Umueze 1 Electoral Ward dully endorsed at the polling Unit were wrongly tabulated and doctored to her detriment.
Engr. Nwaluka posited that though there was large turnout of electorate, the malfunctioning of the Card Reader and late arrival of voting materials frustrated voters. He decried the inflation of votes scored by the APC presidential candidate.
He advised INEC to ensure free, fair and transparent polls during the March 9 gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections.