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YPP In Akwa Ibom Faults Conduct Of Guber Polls, To Explore Legal Action
2023 Elections News Politics

YPP In Akwa Ibom Faults Conduct Of Guber Polls, To Explore Legal Action

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… Insists Outcome Not the Will Of State Electorate

The Young Progressives Party (YPP) in Akwa Ibom State has faulted the conduct of the Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly elections in the state, saying that the outcomes did not reflect the wishes of the electorate.

Speaking at a Press Conference on Monday, the state Secretary of YPP, Amb. Kelvin Umoh said that last Saturday the electorate in Akwa Ibom State witnessed a spectacle of well-orchestrated rigging scheme and bloodletting brazenly executed during polls by agents of Governor Udom Emmanuel–led administration and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The YPP observed that “the collation and announcement of the Gubernatorial election result on Sunday, March 19, 2023 by INEC, we, as a Party, did not append our signature on the result sheet because it doesn’t reflect the will of the electorate in Akwa Ibom State.

“Reports from party agents, voters and independent observers as collaborated by credible intelligence, were categorical that the conduct of the Gubernatorial/State House of Assembly elections was a mere ruse on the intelligence of the electorate who had earnestly desired to use the opportunity to usher in the right leadership in the next dispensation for the State.

“To pull the wool over the eyes of poll observers and members of the public, the rigging syndicate of the state administration and INEC officials selected a few locations to allow the conduct to run a bit fairly – mainly in most parts of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District and Uyo Senatorial District while Eket Senatorial District was shambolic, as most of the polling units’ results were pre-written.

“Worse still, the PDP state administration also deployed hired thugs who were dressed in Police, military and Para-military uniforms to kill, molest, maim and chase away YPP’s Party Agents and supporters in the Polling units and Registration Area Centres (RACs) across the State. Instances abound like the case in Ibiono Ibom where PDP armed militia killed some of our supporters including Mr Abraham Bassey Ekpenyong at the INEC office.

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“This dastardly act was carried out by a team of police men from Government House, Uyo led by Danjuma Saleh who moved in a convoy of six white hilux pickup trucks. In Atan Offot, Uyo, a YPP Local Government Agent was beaten mercilessly by thugs, about 15 in number, led by Mr Ime Uwah, SSA to Governor Udom Emmanuel who personally had a gun with him.

“Mr Ime Uwah’s gang also went around polling units in Atan Offot to chase away YPP Agents and key supporters while carting away electoral materials and results from these units – inflated them and announced in favour of the PDP. This carting away was done even in the presence of foreign observers”, the YPP alleged.

The text of the press briefing further reads:

Furthermore, three of our supporters were killed at Etim Ekpo and several others in other LGAs across the state. Even at Onna LGA, where Governor Udom Emmanuel hails from, thugs in police and military uniforms led by his Chief protocol officer, Mr Edmond Ufang, intimidated and maimed our supporters freely. In fact, any person identified as a supporter of YPP was decreed as a persona non grata, deserving elimination. One wonders if Udom Emmanuel is indeed the Chief Security Officer of the State or the chief tormentor of the people!

Aside these ugly scenes, the fact is that fake result sheets as against the originals pre-signed by the REC were used in collating results in most units across the state.

We have official reports that the same dastardly acts played out in other areas of the State including but not limited to all LGAs in Eket senatorial district, and some local government areas in the state like Ini, Ukanafun, Oruk Anam, Etim Ekpo, Ika, Abak, Essien Udim, Ikot Ekpene, Itu, Etinan, and Uruan.

Also worth mentioning is the massive hijacking of electoral materials in these LGAs by the PDP agents in collusion with INEC staff and security personnel in these areas. For instance, materials in Ini LGA were hijacked to Dr Glory Edet’s house; that of Ika to Barr Utibe Nwoko’s house; that of Ikot Abasi to Engr. Uwem Okoko’s house; Eket to Hon Francis Archibong’s house; Oron to Senator Akon Eyakenyi’s house, etc.

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On another plank, the state government and the PDP agents were seen brazenly and openly paying people N10,000 to buy their votes. Credible intelligence suggest that the state government and the PDP agents paid about N1.3 Million per unit across the 4,353 units in the state, $5,000 to each ward across the 329 wards in the state as part of their voters buying strategy.

Having starved the people close to eight years now and rendering them impoverished, this was a clear deployment of monetary inducement as a weapon on the poverty stricken voters of the state.

Further, it is on record that the Electoral Act and guidelines were not followed. For instance, as at the time INEC were announcing the results in the state, more than 50% of the results were not uploaded. Where then was the ‘final’ results gotten from?

Given such barefaced rigging and catastrophic incidents by the PDP/INEC’s syndicate, can the gubernatorial poll, as a whole be considered free, fair, transparent, credible and acceptable?

The answer is obvious. What transpired was a sham and its outcome CANNOT therefore be ACCEPTABLE as it does not represent or reflect the collective will of the electorate of Akwa Ibom State.

Akwa Ibomites have been in deep lamentation over poor governance in the last eight (8) years of Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel-led administration and it is therefore most concoctive to think that they could readily turn around and go back to the fire that they were about to escape from.

Akwa Ibom people nay the electorate are not fools. The shambolic conduct of the gubernatorial election in the State is therefore actionable.

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It is rather unfortunate that INEC in Akwa Ibom State overtly and covertly surrendered itself to this level of condemnable controversies. In a contest involving many political parties, INEC in the State, rather than be impartial was duplicitous, and audaciously sold its body and soul to PDP.

It remains as often said in Latin, “Quid est inconveniens iniuria” meaning “what is wrong is unacceptable.”

The electoral umpire has certainly robbed the people of their rights to have who they wanted. Nevertheless, any victory outside what the people wanted is just in the interim.

We therefore call on the electorate and lovers of democracy, members of our party and interest groups not to give up hope on their expectations for a new Akwa Ibom State going by the outcome of Saturday’s electoral charade as skewed by INEC in favour of PDP and its governorship candidate, Pastor Umo Eno.

The Almighty God is alive to perfect our redemption from the shackles of poverty, want and deprivation as mercilessly perpetuated by the Udom Emmanuel-led administration throughout his regime.

That our gubernatorial candidate, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan (OBA) CON is the preferred choice of the people is never in doubt and this will be legally pursued until we get justice.

We passionately call on the Department of State Services (DSS), National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Foreign Missions, International Observers and relevant bodies to stand up against the malfeasance by INEC and the PDP in the last Gubernatorial/State House of Assembly elections in Akwa Ibom State. Not only do we seek redress against the misconduct of the polls; we are also calling for dispassionate action against all perpetrators of evil on that Election Day and for those who killed innocent souls to face justice.

We all owe ourselves a duty to preserve democracy in its truest form and practice. That way, we stand a better chance to recover Akwa Ibom State to put it on the proper course.

StreetReporters.ng

Comrade James Ezema is a veteran journalist and media consultant. He is a political strategist. He can be reached on +2348035823617 via call or WhatsApp.

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