Since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has published time table for off-cycle Imo governorship poll, slated to hold November 11, this year. Voters in the Eastern heartland have Continue to query the integrity of the umpire.
Prof. Sylvia Agu, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state is said to be a concern of the voters who are expected to exercise franchise in the forthcoming Imo governorship poll.
Newsmen, who visited various institutions, markets and some Political Analysts in the state, were told that the credibility of Prof Sylvia Agu to oversee the affairs of Imo governorship poll is very much in doubt.
The innocent looking Resident Electoral Commissioner of the umpire, Agu according to voters, have remained a nightmare to some voters who believe that she will compromise the poll.
Like the Resident Commissioner, Agu, other Electoral Officers stationed across the twenty seven Local Government Council Headquarters of Imo State have been described as most corrupt and incompetent Officers of the Commission to handle the November poll.
In order to ensure a credible election, civil society groups in the state, and voters have recommended that the Commission (INEC) should transfer it’s indicted officials, Silvia Agu, EOs who according to them, lacks the morals to officiate credible election in Imo.
Stakeholders who spoke to newsmen, alleged that the tsunami of February and March 2023, National and State Assembly Elections presided over by Prof Sylvia Agu in Imo, is still burning heavily in the hearts of Imo people.
A voter, who simply identified himself as Churchill Izuogu, shared experience about the previous elections held in the state, which he described as the worst Democratic poll since the history of Imo.
Izuogu, who voted in Okigwe Local Government Area, revealed that election was not conducted in over 80 percent of the wards in Okigwe LG as a result of insecurity ravaging the area, but to his surprise, INEC Commission in Imo manufactured a fictitious results to favour some undisclosed candidates of her choice which is totally against the wish and interest of the people.
“Results manufactured by INEC Commission in Imo, presided over by Prof Sylvia Agu in some places like, Orsu, Oru East and West, Ehime Mbano and Oguta Local Government Area is questionable” he said.
Izuogu said that Sylvia Agu led INEC team have caused more harm than good to Imo People.
Hear him, “truth be told, Imo have not had it so bad since 1999. Twenty seven Elected state assembly members and some national assembly members are currently in Nasarawa State battling in the Tribunal, this have never happened in Imo. It is a result of Prof Sylvia Agu inability to conduct credible Polls in Imo.
“INEC ad-hoc officers in the previous elections were students from institutions in Imo contracted by APC Chieftains in conspiracy with the REC who is in charge of the commission in Imo State.
“Today there is no opposition in the State House Of Assembly, all elected lawmakers, excluding two were candidates of the APC in the last election. I wonder what Prof Sylvia Agu and her associate electoral officers can not do to favour APC in the state.
“We must continue to cry even when we know that Prof Sylvia Agu is one of the unrepentant loyalist of Governor Hope Uzodinma, like some security heads in the state.
“I urge the Commission to look into this issue to avoid further indictments to the Commission. What the innocent looking Prof is doing in Imo is totally unacceptable by well-meaning Imo people.” He said.
Also, aggrieved youths in the state who were interviewed by newsmen on Thursday, 31, August passed a vote of no confidence on the Resident Commissioner, Agu.
One of the youths, who is also a student of Alvan Ikeoku Federal College Of Education told newsmen that some of her friends in the campus who were INEC ad-hoc staffs in the last elections, came back with hundreds of dollars given to them as bribe by the APC candidates, in arrangements with some top INEC officials in Imo.
The student who did not want her name on print futher revealed that, currently, there is secret arrangements to recycle some of those ad-hoc staffs of the INEC to conduct the November 11, Imo governorship poll.
“No need, if what we saw in the last election repeats again, if no changes are made, including removal of the REC and top officials, I can bet you that APC will win Imo,” She said.
Also, civil society groups in the country have raised alarm for alleged plot to use security men to Intimidate opposition politicians in the state ahead of the November 11, governorship poll.
The alarm by civil society groups came after the Resident Commissioner, Agu announced that the military will deploy two thousand three hundred personnel for Imo election.
The Rec, while addressing newsmen in Owerri said that the military presence in the forthcoming election will assure safety of the Commission and electorates in the state.
Prof. Agu’s controversial military invitation comments in Owerri have discouraged the minds of so many voters in the state, who believe so much that it is a way to compromise the election which is expected to be credible.
A Chieftain of the Labour Party in Imo, Chris Eluke, called for transfer of the Agu led INEC team in Imo.
LP Chieftain, accused the REC of depriving the opposition parties the important documents needed to prosecute their case in the Election Petition Tribunal.
According to him; “Sylvia Agu conspired with some unidentified uniform men to arrest one of the candidates of LP, Clinton Amadi who visited the commission office in Owerri to get a certified True Copy of his election results.
“One would wonder how partisan the REC has become. We have lost confidence in her and her team.”
“Come November poll, we are expecting something different .”