Imo election observers calls for cancellation of Imo governorship elections

Imo election observers under the auspices of Forum of accredited Domestic Civil Society Organizations have called for the cancellation of the 11 November Imo governorship election.

This is even as they have allegedly accused the Electoral Umpire of falsification of results of places where elections were never conducted.

They also want the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to explain to Imo people and Nigerians in general why voting was carried in many of the polling units without the use of BVAS meant for the accreditation of voters.

The group noted that in several instances, security agencies as observed aided and abetted the massive rigging as witnessed in the Imo State election. And, that the sovereign rights of the people to choose who govern or represents them are exercised according to rules and basic international standards.

Spokesperson of the Group, Mr Ken Umez Ichie who addressed a press conference on Wednesday in Owerri, the Imo State capital, said that the Imo governorship polls conducted last Saturday 11November was marred by electoral malpractice, vote buying, voter intimidation and violence.

The statement which reads in part:” It is with utmost concern and sense of patriotism to address you this morning. In accordance with the rights to observe the entire election processes which include pre- election activities, during and after elections, this forum of accredited observers for Imo gubernatorial election express dismay over gross irregularities in the conduct of the Imo state governorship on November 11, 2023.

“Therefore, our observation mission provides opportunities for us to engage in constructive assessment, review and criticism. As such we are determined to be ensuring that the election processes is improved.”

The statement further read: “The Independent Nation Electoral Commission need to address the people of Imo and generality of Nigerians as to why voting was carried out in many polling units across the state without the use of the BVAS meant for accreditation of voters.
In several instances, security agencies were complicit as observed and shown in several viral videos where they compromised their duties of ensuring credible Election. By that they aided and abetted the massive rigging as witnessed in the Imo State election.”

They accused INEC of changing voting centers in Orsu without informing the voters before the day of the election.

“INEC exhibited flaws in many areas, one of which is outright relocation of polling units without notice to voters. In Orsu LGA, voters were not informed of INEC’s plan to conduct cluster election, hence many voters were disenfranchised. The question INEC must answer is who are those that voted in Orsu? Are they from Orsu or strangers?

“In Okigwe LGA we observed that no result sheet was delivered to polling centers in all the eleven wards in Okigwe LGA. We also observed that election did not occur in Eight polling units in same election. The INEC and police authorities in Okigwe may have to explain where the collation for Okigwe LGA was done.

“We also witnessed that in Ehime Mbano, Ikeduru, Ideato North, among others witnessed desperate ballot box snatching as ball boxes were snatched and delivered to the fortresses of political party actors in the area.

“Those other areas observed without election is Oru-East LGA, Ideato-North, Ikeduru, Oru West and Owerri West LGA.

“We also observed that Ward Collation was not done in the wards as promised by INEC before the election. Especially in Okigwe Zone, Orlu zone and in almost parts of the state. Specifically, In Emekuku ward 1, the INEC ward collation officer disappeared from the Emekuku High School collation center. Some security agents appeared from nowhere, shooting into the air, tear gassed the environment and whisked away the INEC staff and made away with the results.

“That we notice with utmost dismay as to why there was upload of results from EC8A from various polling units where Election did not hold yet it was seen on the IREV.

“In over 2000 polling units results as uploaded and seen in the IREV, the total number of votes as allocated to candidates were higher than the actual number of accredited voters, which in all totality demerits the integrity of the Imo Governorship Elections.

“We, Therefore, call for total cancelation of the November 11, 2023, Imo State Governorship Election.”


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