The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State has rejected the alleged move by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to disenfranchise the people of Okigwe LGA of the State by arbitrarily collapsing all the polling units in the area and centralizing voting in the entire LGA at a single location, precisely at the Okigwe Township Stadium.
PDP, while calling on the INEC to immediately rescind this decision, also asked the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to caution the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Imo State.
The PDP stated this in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Collins Opurozor made available to DAILY POST in Owerri, Imo State.
The opposition party said the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the State, Prof. Sylvia Agu must never allow herself and the integrity of the Commission to be ruined by the same forces of darkness who desecrated the Supreme Court of Nigeria and left the revered judicial institution with a battered image.
The release reads, “It’s important for Nigerians to know that this anti-democratic contrivance was resorted to by INEC at the behest of Senator Hope Uzodinma.
“Our Party had alerted Nigerians that the regime of Senator Uzodinma in Imo State was scheming, so relentlessly, to truncate democracy in the country. Today, we have been vindicated.
“The whole idea behind this grand design by the Uzodinma-led APC regime in Imo is to rig the elections in Okigwe LGA on Saturday, February 25th, and on Saturday, March 11th, 2023, using the Ngor/Okpala Bye-election formula. To achieve this, Imo APC has perfected a plot to flood Okigwe LGA with Ebubeagu Militia and fake security personnel, whose duty would be to take over the Stadium in question, hijack election materials and implement a script already written in Imo State Government House.
“Aware of its looming defeat across the State, Imo APC has also intensified pressure on the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the State, Prof. Sylvia Agu, to include many other parts of the State as places where this rigging strategy will be vehemently enforced.
“Our Party, therefore, holds very strongly that this arrangement by INEC runs foul of the provisions of the extant laws that regulate elections in Nigeria.
“To be clear, Section 6 of the INEC Regulation and Guideline for the Conduct of Elections explicitly states that voting in any election to which the regulations and guidelines apply shall take place at Polling Units Established by the Constitution. Similarly, Section 24(a) of the Electoral Act insists that results of all the Elections shall be announced by the Presiding Officers at the Polling Units.
“Imo PDP warns that any attempt to rig the 2023 elections in Okigwe LGA or any other part of the State will be met with stiff resistance. Imo people must be allowed to exercise their inalienable right to choose their leaders, and anything short of that is an invitation to anarchy.”