Election: Violence, Vote Buying Mar Process in Anambra East/West Fed Constituencies — Observers
An election observer group, Forum for Civil Society Groups in Nigeria, says the Presidential and National Assembly elections in some parts of Anambra were marred by widespread violence and vote buying.
The group, which addressed a news conference in Awka on Wednesday to read its communique, said the irregularities were most brazen in Anambra East and Anambra West Local Government Areas.
The communiqué was signed by Mr Adedapo Adebayo, its National Coordinator, Mr Jimmy George and Mr Mike Obum, Secretary and Director Planning and Research respectively.
The group said that the results from polling units in the area which made up Anambra East and Anambra West Federal Constituencies were not properly collated at the ward levels.
Adebayo, who read the communique said election officials and some party agents were beaten up, alleging that some of the victims were still critically ill in hospitals.
“The election was conducted in a violent way in some of the areas we visited in Anambra North Senatorial District, especially in Nsugbe in Anambra East and Anambra West Federal Constituency. The Feb. 23, 2019 elections were marred with violence, thuggery and vote buying perpetrated by suspected thugs engaged by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), a dominant party in the area”.
“We observed that in Enugu Otu area, the result sheet was signed by one Paul who was assumed to be an agent of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of the ward, but our findings revealed that Maxwell Iwuno was the correct PDP agent for the ward and not Paul.
“In Nsugbe, INEC officials were attacked after results had been recorded that PDP won across board in the area, and as results were been transported to Otuocha, thugs aided by Vigilance operatives ambushed them and set some election materials on fire”.
“In addition, thugs suspected to have been engaged by APGA attacked, stabbed and chased away officials who were carrying the election documents, went and reproduced another results to favour their preferred candidates,” Adebayo said.
The group said the results of the elections as declared from the areas were not true reflection of the people’s choice and called for cancellation of the exercise.
“In conclusion, the results from polling units and wards did not tally with final results collated at the constituency collation Centre, Otuocha”.
“We, the team of observers urge the INEC in Anambra to cancel the Anambra East and Anambra West Federal Constituency elections due to widespread violence, thuggery, harassment and intimidation”.
“We also note that there was problems of Smart Card Readers in in many polling units across Anambra just as in many other states across the country,” the communique read. (NAN)