-As APC Seeks REC’s Removal
Member Of PDP BOT, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu Raises The Alarm Over Plot To Eliminate Him While Describing Governorship Election In Imo State As A Sham As APC Calls For REC’s Redeployment
Elder statesman and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees member, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu has alleged of an executive plot to eliminate him over his support for the party during the botched governorship elections in the state.
Speaking at a press briefing in his Ugwu Orji Glass House in Owerri, the Imo State capital, Iwuanyanwu said he had intelligence report that some highly placed persons in the leadership of the state wanted to kill him on April 11, during the governorship and House of assembly elections.
According to him, “I learnt over 4000 thugs were trained and armed. I was also warned to steer clear of the polls or risk assassination. With the arrests recorded by security agents during the election, we confirmed the information that the police and army uniforms were freely issued and government vehicles repainted to bear police colours. I heard also the governor has threatened to retire me, but he tends to forget that he is not God. I have brought value to Imo State and have impacted life even on my personal capacity. I think it is absolutely unfair to want to rise to power by killing or retiring Iwuanyanwu”.
As he raised the alarm, All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, called for removal of Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), accusing him of connivance with the PDP.
Iwuanyanwu also expressed serious apprehension over the future of democracy and civil rule in the state under Governor Rochas Okorocha.
He says his fear is borne out of the antecedents of a new crop of politicians with inordinate love for power; who could do anything to assume positions of power.
Iwuanyanwu noted that a lot of desperation and criminality were brought to bear in the last governorship election in Imo.
“My voice was cloned last week by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Imo State government; and used to mislead Imo people telling them to vote APC. My voice was played every five minutes on the government owned Orient FM soliciting votes for APC. When I called Orient FM, they said it was sent to them from the Imo government House. Former Governor Achike Udenwa’s voice was also cloned; I have never seen this level of fraud, dishonour and impunity in my political life” The PDP leader lamented that Nigeria’s democracy would have made no progress if after more than half a century of Nigeria’s independence; ‘the governorship charade in Imo on April 11 is upheld.’
According to him, “in this same state, an INEC official made the statement before cameras that she was kidnapped and forced to write election results at gunpoint and nothing has been said or done about this.”
Meanwhile, APC in the state has accused the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Gabriel Ada, of plotting to rig the election in favour of PDP.
Speaking also at a press briefing yesterday in Owerri, Director General of Rochas Okorocha Governorship Campaign Organisation, Iheukwumere Alaribe alleged that the REC intentionally increased the number of the permanent voters cards (PVCs) collected as against the original number prior to the elections.
“We have applied to the REC to release to us officially the number of PVCs collected in the areas where the rerun elections would hold on April 25, but he appears too unwilling to grant our request. It is our belief that when we have the number of PVC distribution, it’ll be difficult for anybody to rig the election.
“However, we were surprised to hear the REC say the PVC collection is still ongoing when the INEC has stopped the issuance of PVCs nationwide.
“To us, further distribution of PVCs is tantamount to changing the goal post in the middle of the game and it is unacceptable to us”, he said.
Alaribe also alleged that the REC intentionally included areas where elections had been conducted and results announced, including areas where the INEC electoral officers did not make any recommendations for rerun, adding that this was done by the REC to justify the inflation of the number of the voters in the affected areas.
He listed some of the places where elections had held and results announced but were included in the rerun election to include Ezinihitte ward in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of the state and Oru East LGA.
Alaribe added that in Nkwerre LGA, the REC inflated the number of registered voters and PVC collected.
He explained that in Umuibu Village Hall, Owerri Nkworji ward 1, the original number of registered voters brought by the INEC before the elections was 254 with 220 as the number of PVC collected, but was inflated to 1000 after the governorship election ahead of the rerun.
The situation, he said, was the same in Isiowerre booth 4 in Owerri Nkworji ward 2, where he alleged that the number was inflated from 593 and 496 as the number of the registered voters and PVCs collected respectively to 1900 and 1557 as the number of the registered voters and PVCs collected respectively.
“These are errors too many to be unintentional and therefore, we the members of the Rochas Okorocha Governorship Campaign Organisation and the APC are of the opinion that the REC is an interested party and that he is not competent to supervise the governorship rerun election in Imo State.
“We call on the chairman of the INEC to direct the REC to release to us the number of PVCs collected in the areas affected by rerun election and stop him from further distributing the PVCs. Jega should personally or through men of goodwill look into the Imo election and keep the REC aside because we don’t have confidence in him. He is an embarrassment to democracy”.
When contacted on the allegation that INEC compromised, Mr Elias Osim, Head Voter Education and Public Enlightenment, INEC, Owerri told our correspondent to meet the REC himself as he did not have answer to such allegations.
Our reporter could not reach the REC as his phone line was not reachable as at the time of filing this report. Also, all efforts made to reach the Emeka Ihedioha Campaign Organisation proved abortive as its director general, Barr. Chris Okewulonu could not answer several calls put to his phone while the phone line of its spokesman, Enyinna Onuegbu was not reachable.
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