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Imo bye-election: PDP blames Uzodimma, speaker, others for electoral fraud

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PEOPLES Democratic Party (PDP), Imo State has alerted the public on the abductions, violence, snatching of ballot boxes, shootings and widespread electoral fraud  allegedly sponsored by Governor Hope Uzodinma, his aides, Imo Speaker and Members of  the House of Representatives from the All Progressives Congress( APC) stock  during the Ngor Okpala State Constituency By-election, held on Saturday.

  In a press statement issued and made available to newsmen, the state chairman of the party, Charles Ugwu said there was brazen show of force as “members of All Progressives Congress(APC), including appointees of the Hope Uzodinma led government, APC members of the Imo State House of Assembly and House of Representatives, invaded Ngor Okpala with a combined team of the Police, Army, Navy, DSS, Uzodinmas militia group,  Hopism Strike Force and over 70 buses of armed thugs to unleash terror on innocent voters in Ngor Okpala.”

   Ugwu further said: “In that orgy of violence, INEC staff, as well as PDP members and innocent voters were kidnapped, while others were beaten to a pulp and left half-dead in their pools of blood. The Gestapo-like manner traversed Ngor Okpala from Umuowa, Umuneke, Imerienwe, Logara and continued to the rest of the wards, leaving in their trail pain, anguish and destruction like an invading army. They carted away electoral materials and took them into the residences of some APC leaders and to the Santiago Hotels, located near the Sam Mbakwe Airport, along Owerri-Aba Road where they perpetrated the electoral heist. The ballot papers were thumb-printed right in the hotel and results computed.”

  “It is noteworthy that the candidate of our party, Hon. Emeka Jeff Nwachukwu, was placed under house arrest with armoured tanks stationed in front of his residence at Umuneke, while armed thugs shot sporadically to scare away voters from exercising their franchise. But thank God for the undying spirit of the voters who, in most areas, defied these intimidation to cast their votes for our party, only for invading army to return at points of collation to snatch results sheets. The PDP State Chairman went ahead to mention the names of those who perpetrated the acts.

  “Notorious among the kingpins in this criminality were Amara Iwuanyanwu, Deputy Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly; Chinasa Nwaneri, Special Adviser, Special Duties to Governor Uzodinma; Kennedy Ibeh Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly; Pastor Chike Okafor member, House of Representatives; Miriam Onuoha, member, House of Representatives; Macdonald Ebere, State Chairman of APC and Blyden Amajirionwu, one of the candidates of the APC in the election”.

  He said that these persons were captured on camera while carting away BVAS machines and other electoral materials at the following polling units : Ward 1 —008 & 016, Ward 2 —015, Ward 3— 002, Ward 4— 005, Ward 6— 001, 003, 007, 009, Ward 8— 004, 005, 006, 007, 008, 009, 011, Ward 11—002, 010 & 012.

  Ugwu said the barbarity that was witnessed in NgorvOkpala on Saturday, could best be described as a new low in the country’s democratic experience and condemned in strong terms, these acts of violence, abductions and electoral fraud by the APC in Imo State.

  He therefore, issued a number of prayers for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to act on: “INEC must scrutinise and summarily reject results of those contentious polling units where APC agents perpetrated these violent acts were reported, INEC must resist every attempt to induce, intimidate them to lending itself to the obnoxious agenda of denying the people the right of choosing their representatives, in exercise of their democratic rights and civic duties.

  “We wish to call on INEC to demonstrate patriotic bravery and declare our candidate, Hon. Emeka Jeff Nwachukwu, winner of this election. This call is as a result of the evident overwhelming votes cast by the electorate for our party as shown by the legitimate results so far declared”.

  “We also demand the immediate arrest of all the appointees, allies, associates and agents of APC and Gov Uzodinma, who have been identified in the shameful abductions, violence and electoral fraud in Ngor Okpala”.

  Ugwu finally commended the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof Francis Ezeonu and his staff for resisting the moves of the electoral fraudsters and standing by the truth as was evident in the press conference earlier held by him.

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