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Rivers Rerun: INEC Economical With The Truth…Andoni Was Cancelled Because Of Fake Result Sheets

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has been accused of not only been compromised but economical with the truth over the cancellation or suspension of elections in parts of the state.

A Chieftain of the All Progressives Grand Alliance in the Andoni Local Government Area, Chief Markson Ene-Awaji made the accusation while reacting to the statement credited to the state resident electoral commissioner Elder Aniedi Ikoiwak that Rivers rerun were marred with violence.

According to Ene-Awaji the election in Andoni, Bonny, Khana, Gokhana amongst others were not conducted because of INEC irresponsible activity and intension to rig the election in favour of the APC hence compromised to bring fake result sheets for the election.

“Elder Aniedi Ikoiwak would have informed the people of violence in some places and lack of original result sheets in areas not conducted rather than generalizing violence as the cause for not holding elections in other LGA’s”, Ene-Awaji submitted.

In the Andoni LGA, the electoral officer one Mr. Peter Otafo while addressing the electorates and had hoc staff at the commission’s premises announced the suspension of the exercise due to discovery of fake result sheets delivered by INEC to the LGA.

According to Peter Otafo “while the distribution of materials were on going it was discovered that the results sheets for the election was fake and my attention was drawn to it . However, I requested that it be counter signed for it to be used but was resisted”. “So I have to cancel the election for me to report to the head officer, therefore the election in this LGA is canceled”. Otafo stated.

Peter Otafor said the APC Agent at a point in time accepted the counter signed for it to be used, but resisted by other parties, and on whether the countersigning was constitutional, the electoral officer could not provide answers.

In his protest speech the caretaker chairman of the Andoni LGA, Ere Victor said the election in Andoni could not hold as a result of fake result sheets brought by INEC and advice the INEC to cancel the exercise until a new date and original materials are provided.

Speaking also, the Commissioner in the Rivers State House of Assembly Service Commission, Hon. Paul Ayagwung has described it as shameful and disturbing INEC inability to conduct election in just one state of the federation.

The commissioner decried the discrepancies in the materials especially in the House of Representatives materials, saying the protest by electorate who were on ground since morning to guide their material to units were norms in a democracy.

According to Hon. Paul Ayagwung, “it is appalling, shameful, a contradiction of realities. The APC led government at the centre has been shouting Change; Change…but what is happing today is a contradiction or realities, an anti thesis or the thesis, it amount to waste of public fund, INEC at the centre must brace up to its responsibility”, the commissioner cautioned.

Speaking on his take on the cancellation of election by the electoral officer Peter Otafo, the former Speaker Rivers State House of Assembly and contestant in the election Rt. Hon. Ikunyi-Owaji Ibani said the idea of justice is that there is injustice, and appealed to electorate to remain calm and go about their legitimate businesses, saying that at the end they would achieve justice.

 

James Mgboineme

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