Even as collation of results continued on Monday in Anambra state following the end of the gubernatorial election held on Saturday and Sunday, three political parties have said they will contest the results, demanding an outright cancellation of the exercise.
Even before the results are known or announced, they have been contested by the All Progressive Congress, APC, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the Labour Party, LP, which alleged that the logistic problems encountered during the election were deliberately contrived by INEC to deny thousands the opportunity to vote.
They called for a total cancellation of the Anambra governorship election over massive disenfranchisement of registered voters across the state.
Both the APC and PDP had boycotted the rescheduled election in Idemili North Local Government Area on Sunday, describing the exercise as “a charade and mockery of democracy”.
Coming together to address a news conference on Sunday, the trio of Chris Ngige of APC, Tony Nwoye of PDP and Ifeanyi Ubah of LP called for the cancellation of the election, expressing dismay at the conduct.
Ngige, who acted as spokesman for the three, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct a fresh poll in the state.
“Our stand is that the election which started yesterday (Saturday) has been beset with a lot of irregularities and fraudulent practices and therefore, we reject the poll and its subsequent outcome,” he said.
He said the decision was predicated on fraudulent malpractices as the election did not conform to the Electoral Act.
“There were massive and gross irregularities in the voters’ register used for the poll throughout the 21 local government areas by the electoral officers. Voters were disenfranchised in all the three senatorial zones and we, therefore, reject the result and its outcome,” he said.
The APC candidate alleged the poll was also marred by the non-issuance of result sheets by electoral officers in some areas as well as the disappearance of result sheets in others.
He said that result sheets were deliberately distributed to different polling units rather than the ones they were designed for, saying that it was a ploy against the protesting candidates in their strongholds.
“For instance, result sheets in Uke, Oraukwu and Abatete were found in Ogidi and Nkpor even when they were coded with the same number at the polling units,” he noted.
He also said that there was massive deployment of security agents to harass their agents who were forcefully removed from polling units.
“At a point, they alleged that our agents’ identity cards were forged,” he added.
On his part, Ubah said the integrity of INEC was at stake and urged its leadership to toe the path of honour by conducting a fresh poll.
He said the commission should not allow a situation where it would go down in history that it supported fraud.
Also contributing, Nwoye, who aligned himself with the Ngige and Ubah, said the election was a charade.