Prof. Attahiru Jega’s INEC had a disastrous showing in Abia State, in the governorship election. The wishes and aspirations of the people, who had clamored for change in the state, were thwarted by some unscrupulous INEC staff, in collaboration with the PDP. It is only in Abia State that all the contested positions and declared results by INEC are in contention and vigorously challenged in the election tribunals.
The change the people of Abia State sincerely wished for was that their votes should count in electing their preferred candidates, which they enthusiastically demonstrated during the elections. This dream was aborted by the INEC staff.
The PDP in Abia has adopted the laconic approach on the issues raised by the six arrested INEC staff in Umuahia, for removing card readers, ballot papers and result sheets used during the elections to forstall credible evidence at the election tribunal.
The election clearly won by Dr Alex Otti, of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), was upturned by the INEC officials in favour of the PDP. Abia could be drifting into disaster if justice is not done immediately. Elections characterized by intimidation from the government in power, snatching of electoral results, shooting of opponents can not be said to be credible, more so, when INEC officials were allegedly caught removing electoral materials.
Nigerians know that Abia elections were a sham. For instance, the INEC returning officer in Abia North never announced his result. The same applies to results from Abia Central. This is a state where government workers are owed salaries for months.
Weeping and gnashing of teeth are commonplace in Abia, especially from children whose parents are unable to foot their bills back to school, as a result of non-payment of salaries, gratuity and pensions by Gov. T.A. Orji’s administration. That Orji, in spite of his calamitous regime, is imposing a successor on the people, as against their collective wish, is a disgrace.
Jega, in counting your successes and achievements during and after the 2015 elections, do not include Abia because your commission failed woefully there. In order to salvage the name of INEC, you have only one course of action to take: At the tribunal, let INEC staff confess the illegalities that attended the elections, and make amends. It is unfortunate that Abia has to go through this at this time.