Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South, Sam Oyadongha, Jimitota Onoyume, Festus Ahon, Egufe Yafugborhi, Emmanuel Una, Harris-Okon Emmanuel, Ike Uchechukwu, Chioma Onuegbu, Davies Iheamnachor and Perez Brisibe
THE Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, came under overwhelming pressure in the March 9 Governorship and Home of Assembly elections in the South-South with armed security workers and goons in military uniforms working for political leaders taking a few of its authorities captive, however the Commission increased above the determines of heavyweight political leaders and their celebrations that wished to arm-twist it.
Authorities awakened from sleep in Rivers.
In Rivers state, it appears the tactical plan by a prominent chieftain of a political celebration was for the election to be indecisive to teach the guv, Nyesom Wike, a bitter lesson in a following election.
INEC manager, Prof Mahmood Yakubu.
Wike learnt about the strategy and made back-up plans. In all, the political leaders practically put INEC in Rivers state in a dilemma, however it skillfully twitched out by suspending the ballot procedure to conserve its face.
It is yet to be identified if PDP intentionally affected list of the INEC advertisement hoc personnel for the election, however over 8 returning officers, SPOs and EOs for the election were determined as card- bring members of the PDP.
APC likewise had some sophisticated strategies, which PDP attempted to upturn with INEC authorities thought to be PDP members declining the previous’s adjustments of votes in favour of confidential AAC’s prospect.
APC demonstrations at INEC workplace, desires election delayed.
It appeared the video game was over when guys in military uniform, last Saturday afternoon, took control of the INEC head office in Port Harcourt after an encounter with law enforcement officer prepared there.
There is no doubt that APC and PDP were associated with unwholesome acts causing INEC’s suspension of the workout in Rivers.
INEC in lastly taking charge and suspending the workout, pointed at apparent abnormalities and its only redeeming function was the suspension. The electoral firm stayed reckless in concluding the collation and statement of the outcomes.
Anxious over extensive violence and intimidation of authorities, following earlier caution not to take kindly to abnormalities, particularly danger to lives of its authorities, it decreased to accede to biddings of political principalities.
The nationwide body, following the advancement, sent out a fact-finding delegation to the state to determine the factor authorities suspended the procedure in the state.
The delegation, which had actually finished its project in the state, has given that Tuesday, went back to Abuja to send its findings to the electoral umpire.
Delta INEC in charge, offered no space for appeasement.
Nevertheless, under a totally free and reasonable contest, Wike actually has no competitor in the elections, however APC, even in self-destruct, is hell bent on paying him back over his viewed hijack of the procedure when “federal may” was to his favour in2015
Like in Rivers, INEC had issue in Delta state, however not in regards to political leaders jeopardizing the system. The Local Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr. Cyril Omoregbe, offered no space for political leaders to get to him, not to mention discovering the happy medium with him. He declined courtesy check out by political leaders and decreased to captivate effective political leaders who looked for to fulfill him prior to the elections.
The difficulty it had was automobiles and boats for motion of products on Election Day. There was a specific case where INEC authorities needed to depend on the lorry of a union to move its workers to a centre in Warri.
There were likewise cases of mix- up of electoral products. In some circumstances, authorities brought products implied for some systems to another system in Warri. This postponed beginning of ballot as INEC authorities needed to take some time to figure out the blend prior to voting might start in the impacted systems.
The Commission was, nevertheless, in charge of the procedure, neither the PDP nor APC might penetrate the system
Igini puts A’Ibom on top.
Akwa Ibom state is amongst the couple of states in the nation where the 2019 basic elections hung on February 23 and March 09 2019 respectively were adjudged most serene, reliable and reasonable.
Numerous associate the accomplishment to the neutrality and openness shown by INEC led by Mr. Mike Igini, the Local Electoral Commissioner.
No doubt, there were reported cases where desperate political leaders utilized goons presumably worked with outside the state to daunt and bother INEC ad-hoc personnel, electoral officers, and collation officers at some ballot systems and hauled away election products, consisting of card readers.
For example on the eve of the cancelled governmental and nationwide assembly surveys, ruffians presumed to be political goons fired 13 buses worked with by INEC for the elections, while authorities verified that a person unknown individual was eliminated in the occurrence.
Likewise on Friday, March 8, about 3: 00 am, ruffians fire the INEC workplace in Ibesikpo Asutan causing the damage of card readers, and citizen’s register.
INEC authorities had actually stated that those behind the abhorrent act had actually targeted the shop believing that the delicate products were currently there.
Nevertheless, the commission did not lose time in changing card readers and reprinting of the citizen’s register, that made it possible for election to keep in the location.
The REC, Mike Igini, has actually continued to get commendations from the citizens, worried Akwa Ibom people, spiritual groups, civil society groups, in addition to domestic and worldwide observers.
Akwa Ibom citizens were especially pleased with the nerve of the REC to decline all the shenanigans of some political leaders to interfere with the workout.
In reality, the state chapter of Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, kicked versus unlimited calls and demonstrations by APC stakeholders and fans, requiring the elimination of Mike Igini, due to the fact that it smelt ominous intention.
Ahead of the governmental and nationwide assembly survey, IPAC had actually mentioned, “We remain in the understand that the other day’s paid demonstration led by some recognized APC stakeholders was an effort to blackmail the electoral umpire for declining their advances to rig the surveys in their favour.”.
‘ The APC much like other celebrations need to be happy that there is an umpire in Igini’s mould who is devoted to guaranteeing reliable, totally free, reasonable election by looking for methods of increasing such track record in the commission.
Likewise, in a quick response on Tuesday, IPAC revealed discouragement over accusation by APC chieftains (Nsima Ekere, Senator Godswill Akpabio and Atuekong Don Etiebet), that Igini conspired with PDP to rig the presidential/NASS and the gubernatorial/state assembly surveys.
It stated, “We feel happy that in our life time, a trustworthy people-centred election was held and the voices of the individuals and their votes mattered. Mike Igini deserves our appreciation and thankfulness for withstanding what is best and perfect. He declined to be jeopardized and stood his ground on doing just what is best and worthy.”.
Likewise in its report after the governorship and state assembly elections, Pan-African Women Group, a South Africa group, stated, “We applaud the openness and reliability displayed by INEC here in Akwa Ibom state throughout the presidential/National Assembly surveys and the governorship and state Assembly surveys”.
In some systems in the state, there were reports of harassment and usage of goons to bother, subdue electoral authorities, particularly the NYSC members and they hauled away electoral products. Nevertheless, elections were cancelled in systems and wards that taped cases of electoral malpractices, varying from over ballot and hauling away of electoral products by goons helped by political leaders.
For example, the Eket election was cancelled in one system, in Mbo, election was cancelled in 3 systems and in Ini city government, election was cancelled in 2 systems. Likewise in the governorship and state Home of Assembly elections, outcomes were taped just in 2 out of 11 wards in Essien Udim city government location, while election was cancelled in the 9 wards due to electoral malpractice.
Akwa Ibom state has 329 wards and 2,980 ballot systems. Another location that the INEC carried out well was its capability to change, at the last minute, all the electoral officers released to the surveys after finding out that political leaders had actually greatly bribed them.
INEC vulnerable in Bayelsa.
In Bayelsa, it was a workout in which the electoral umpire, INEC, was powerless, as soldiers, who normally, have no service with elections were developed into a “callous” rigging maker of the main judgment celebration, the All Progressive Congress, APC.
In the governmental and nationwide assembly elections, soldiers secured locations where APC leaders held sway. Shootings from political goons, assisted by the military began even prior to the beginning of the surveys in some seaside neighborhoods.
This, according to our findings was due to the fact that they desired electoral products pirated. Nembe Bassambiri, Brass and Southern Ijaw saw the undemocratic acts.
At Bassambiri, some individuals abducted NYSC members, who were INEC ad-hoc personnel and outcomes were formulated. While the leading Individuals’s Democratic Celebration, PDP, raised alarm over the electoral scams, the electoral umpire averted.
At Brass, the circumstance was even worse as goons manhandled a senior policeman in the complete glare of press reporters though authorities jailed some perpetrators.
This circumstance likewise played out in Southern Ijaw IV in Southern Ijaw city government location and Agbere in Sagbama council location, where presumed goons assisted by soldiers overwhelmed INEC authorities and pirated products.
Remarkably, INEC revealed outcomes for the governmental and nationwide assembly surveys, in spite of the supposed violence in some wards and systems in the location. In reality, the commission itself declared that rampaging goons hauled away 63 of its card readers throughout the February 23 surveys.
The theft of the card readers, an important part of the electoral procedure, according to INEC, took place in Brass, Sagbama, Southern Ijaw, Nembe and Yenagoa.
A breakdown of the taken cards as revealed by the commission, revealed that in Brass, ward 6, system 19, one Smart Card Reader was missing out on; 24 vanished in Nembe, ward 1, 4, 12 and 13 while 24 likewise got missing out on in Southern-Ijaw, ward 1, 2, 3, 12,15 8 were missing out on in Sagbama ward 1 system 5 and ward 6 unit3 while in Yenagoa, an overall of 6 likewise missed out on in ward 1, 11 and 16 respectively.”.
Criminals pirated the tallies due to security obstacles dealt with by INEC workers in the impacted locations. The result of the surveys in the impacted locations triggered off allegations and counter allegations from the judgment PDP and the opposition APC.
The Union of United Political Celebrations, CUPP, and Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC in the state required the instant redeployment of the state Local Electoral Commissioner, Pastor Tom Udoh prior to the March 9 surveys.
According to the aggrieved celebrations, the REC might carry out totally free, reasonable and reliable elections for the state Home of Assembly due to what took place throughout the governmental and nationwide assembly surveys.
CUPP revealed unhappiness that under his watch, the governmental and nationwide assembly surveys were laden with abnormalities as elections products were pirated and hauled away by rampaging goons backed by soldiers.
” The law specifies that card readers need to be utilized throughout the elections, however where card readers were hauled away and elections did not occur, outcomes were revealed,” the group kept in mind.
Nevertheless, the March 9 workout saw some enhancement in regards to logistics and firmness on the part of the commission.
Much like the governmental and nationwide assembly surveys, the state assembly elections saw huge military existence throughout the state.
The REC likewise got time and went to the field to observe the procedure in some neighborhoods that might be accessed by roadway. However, there were reported cases of electoral violence and other abnormalities in some parts of the state, an advancement accountable for the undetermined surveys in 3 constituencies specifically Brass I, Ogbia II and Southern Ijaw IV.