The Abia State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has called for the removal of the present crop of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s officials ahead of the March 5 re-run elections.
The APC made the call during a press briefing addressed by a delegation of key party officials from Abia State, who met the acting national chairman, Engr. Segun Oni, in Abuja yesterday in preparation for the Abia North senatorial district and Aba North state constituency re-run elections.
The delegation, which includes the state party chairman, the governorship candidate, Dr. Nyerere Anyim, South-East ex-officio member, Chief Nduka Anyanwu, members of state caucus, former ministers, senators and deputy governors, a former two-time Speaker, and zonal woman leader, was led by Chief Sam Nkire.
Nkire, who spoke on behalf of the delegation, said judging from its experience, the APC did not have confidence in the composition of INEC in Abia State.
He warned that the party would not condone any form of harassment, intimidation and rigging, and urged the other contestants to play by the rules.
Also speaking, a former speaker of the state house of assembly, Hon. Stanley Ugochukwu Ohajuruka, who is also a member of the state caucus, claimed that some candidates in the re-run polls had been boasting that they were in control of the INEC, in addition to the “tacit support of the security apparatus in the state”.
Ohajuruka, however, said the APC had the capacity to win the elections if a level playing field was provided for all contestants in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-controlled state.
“There is an upsurge of kidnapping in Abia state now. We have requested that enough attention should be given to this issue of kidnapping, particularly in Aba and its environs. We see it as a tactic to scare leaders who will probably come around to ensure that that election is conducted in a free and fair manner.
“One thing that has characterized Abia state election is rigging. Most times results are written. It’s not what transpired in the field. What we are saying now in advance is that we are in an era of change. We want the world to know that we will not accept writing of results outside what transpired in the field”, he said.