The Abia State government has insisted it does not have confidence in the Resident Electoral Commissioner for the state, Professor Selina Oko, just as it has given conditions for its participation in the April 25 supplementary governorship poll in the state.
State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Anthony Agbazuere who made government’s position known at a press conference in Umuahia said PDP would participate in the re- run but insisted that card readers must be used for accreditation.
“INEC should configure the card readers to reflect the various units where supplementary elections will hold. The PDP agents must be allowed to inspect the card readers before and after accreditation to checkmate foul play,” the commissioner said.
The state government further demanded that “no Chairman of a Local Government Area shall be molested or barred from observing proceedings at the collation centres as Chief Security Officers in their various council areas.”
Abia State government also passed vote of no confidence on the state’s Returning Officer, Professor Benjamin Ozumba, as it accused the REC and Ozumba of being ‘biased’ against PDP’s candidate, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu.
Government called for their removal, insisting that the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Atahiru Jega should relocate to Abia to supervise the exercise himself.
In the same vein, the state government said that “no soldier should be at a polling centre, collation centre or inside LGA headquarters as the impartiality of some officers have become questionable”.
The State Government warned that it would no longer “tolerate the intimidation of our party agents or accept a situation where INEC will allow more party agents or observers for a political party than the number allowed for the PDP”.
Asked whether PDP would boycott the poll should INEC fail to satisfy the conditions, Agbazuere said that “Jega has a listening ear and the least he can do is to send high ranking INEC officials if he cannot come himself”.