The candidate of the Labour Party, LP, in last Saturday’s governorship election in Akwa Ibom State, Senator Helen Esuene, has said the conduct of the governorship and state House of Assembly elections in the state was a display of financial strength.
According to Esuene, the exercise was not a reflection of the wishes of the people of the state.
The Senator stated this in a statement she made available to Journalists in Uyo, the state capital, adding that voters were enticed with cash and goods everywhere, and cajoled into voting according to instruction.
She also alleged that the state was flooded by mercenaries, who were imported from everywhere to, if need be, kill and go, insisting that what transpired at the election was a clear departure from what the law prescribes.
Esuene said: “The exercise of April 11 was more of a show of financial strength than the capturing of the wishes of the Akwa Ibom people.
“Voters were enticed with cash and goods everywhere; they were cajoled into voting accordingly before they were given what was promised them. This is a clear departure from what the law says.
“Election materials were diverted on the way to the units, while some were forcefully taken away from units with the assistance of mercenaries to unknown destinations.
“After normal voting by accredited voters, the remaining ballot papers were thump-printed with the full knowledge of INEC officials and Security Personnel; any agent, who tried to resist this, was forced out.
“The materials and personnel that were diverted on the way to polling units ended up in the homes of some VIP’s where the voting exercise was illegally conducted. Such homes were heavily guarded by police officers,” she said.
Esuene further stated that it was a common knowledge that the number in the voters’ register in many units were fraudulently inflated, and the cards did not belong to known persons, alleging that in other areas, thump-printing was done irrespective of the card readers.
She said: “In order to serve as a deterrent in future elections, the result of all such inflated units should be discarded and only the genuine result of the very few units be used to compute for the declaration of the winner.”
However, there was wild jubilation in Uyo over the Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate, Mr. Udom Emmanuel’s victory at the poll.
Barracks Road, leading to Government House, was blocked as thousands of people thronged there to felicitate with Emmanuel.
One of the youths, Emmanuel Ekong, who was seen there, said whether there was an election or not, they had every right to rejoice with the governor-elect.
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