By AKEEB ALARAPE
The national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has called for the immediate cancellation of the results of the Governorship and House of Assembly elections in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.
The party made the call yesterday, at a press conference addressed by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in Lagos.
State chapters of the party in the two affected states had made similar appeal in view of the violence and irregularities that characterised the elections. Muhammed said the Saturday elections in the two states were dogged by security failures, snatching of boxes, non-availability of election materials, non-compliance with electoral guidelines and violence.
The APC spokesman described the elections in the two states as ‘nothing but mock elections, a mere charade.’
He said while police and military personnel colluded with thugs to rig the Rivers State elections, eight APC members were killed in Akwa Ibom State arising from violence unleashed by political thugs working for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“Contrary to the directive from INEC that Card Readers be used for the elections, the machines were discarded in Rivers.
“This is why the voters’ turnout in Rivers, as announced by INEC, stood at more than 75 per cent, compared with the national average of between 25 and 35 per cent.”
“Because of these and other anomalies, we hereby unequivocally demand for the cancellation of the Governorship and House of Assembly elections in Rivers State,” Muhammed said.
On the elections in Akwa Ibom State, Muhammed bemoaned the killing of APC members, which he said police has put at eight.
According to him, the party secretariat supported the call for the cancellation of election results in Akwa Ibom State in view of the non-compliance with electoral guidelines and non-availability of voting materials.
“In areas where polling materials were received, hordes of deadly armed thugs, escorted by men in Nigeria Police and Army uniforms, stormed the polling units and carted away the election materials midway into the accreditation process.
“In a meeting with APC governorship candidate, Mr. Umana Okon Umana, the electoral officer of Nsit Ubium local government admitted that the election process in the area was marred by security failure, which allowed PDP thugs to hijack election materials and take them to private homes for thumb-printing.
“In view of the widespread failure by INEC to supply election materials to polling units in most parts of Akwa Ibom, the rampant snatching of ballot boxes and the bloodletting by PDP thugs that characterized the conduct of the elections on Saturday, we as a party hereby call for an outright cancellation of the elections,” Muhammed stated.