Senators Samuel Anyanwu and Athan Achonu, governorship candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party in the November 11 Imo governorship election, respectively, have pointed fingers at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies for perpetuating a severely flawed election in the state.
In a joint press conference held in Owerri on Monday, the duo rejected the declaration of Governor Hope Uzodimma of the All Progressives Congress, APC, by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as the winner of the governorship election.
Anyanwu and Achonu demands are crystal clear: an urgent review of the election by INEC within the next seven days or an outright cancellation.
They described the election as a compromised democratic exercise.
Senator Anyanwu described the entire election as a “charade,” expressing profound disappointment in INEC and the security agencies.
He said security agencies, working in collaboration with the APC and INEC, abetted electoral fraud.
“I’m ashamed of the outcome of the election. We taught INEC would use the governorship election in Imo State to correct its mistakes in the last election, but it was not so,” he said.
Anyanwu unveiled a litany of irregularities at the polls, ranging from results being collated without proper accreditation to the shocking revelation of Orsu LGA, where elections never took place.
He revealed that some people were transported from Owerri to Orsu LGA, accusing APC agents of orchestrating illicit voting in the area.
He underscored the gravity of the situation, citing instances where Orsu LGA, noted to be a violence-prone area, miraculously churned out 18,000 votes.
Anyanwu also asserted that results were preloaded a day before the election.
“Policemen were even carrying ballot boxes, and they did so in collaboration with officials of INEC. INEC aided the fraud because their officials were heavily induced. It’s a big shame, and that was why we had called for the removal of the REC before the election, because we knew she had compromised,” he said.
Senator Achonu echoed his counterpart’s sentiments, describing the governorship election as a ruthless violation of democracy.
“It’s a rape of democracy,” Achonu said.
He alleged that in over 50 percent of polling units in the state,proper accreditation never took place on election day.
Achonu asserted that results were surreptitiously preloaded before 10 a.m. on polls day, accusing INEC officials of colluding with agents of the APC to carry out the act.
“INEC Eos, in collaboration with agents of the APC, were sharing money at collation centers.
“It is unfortunate that security agencies colluded with INEC officials to perpetuate electoral fraud, despite the assurances I received from security chiefs that the election would be free, fair, and credible,” Achonu said.