From Ikenna Esogibe and Austin Chikwado
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, have been accused of manipulating the results of Mbaitoli/Ikeduru federal constituency supplementary election held on 15th of April, 2023, to favour the APC candidate.
Mbaike women led by Mrs. Hope Ihuoma Mbaitoli LGA, embarked on a protest on Friday in Owerri, demanding that the supplementary election results be reviewed by the INEC.
Speaking to journalists on behalf of the women group, Mrs. Hope Ihuoma, condemned the alleged conspiracy of the electoral umpire with the ruling APC in rigging out Uche Ogbuagu, the Labour Party candidate for Mbaike federal constituency seat, describing it as a despicable act on the side of INEC.
She said that the ruling party acted in concert with compromised INEC officials and some security agents to subvert the will of the people.
Hear her, “we all witnessed what happened in the just concluded Mbaike supplementary election, and we wat to say it without fear or favour that INEC in connivance with the ruling APC manipulated the results of Mbaike to the favour of their candidate.
“By this singular act, INEC has reneged on its promises to conduct a free, fair and credible election by recruiting some compromised staff who acted in concert with the APC and security agents to subvert the will of the people.
“Mbaitoli and Ikeduru voted massively for Uche Ogbuagu and we call on the INEC to redeem its image by reviewing the results and restoring Uche Ogbuagu as the authentic winner of Mbaike election.”
Lady Chioma Ubochi and Mrs. Chinenye Oleru both from Ikeduru LGA, lamented the trauma, fear and intimidation which the security agencies working for the APC subjected the electorates during the exercise.
They both called on the Commission to review the supplementary exercise to ensure justice is done in the land of Mbaike, giving reference to the Adamawa state governorship election.
The women however expressed optimism that Uche Ogbuagu’s mandate which, according to them, was freely given to him by the people of Mbaike, will be restored to him sooner than later.