The Abia chapter of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of bias in the ongoing collation of the results of Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
The party made the accusation in a statement issued by its Acting Publicity Secretary and Vice Chairman (Abia North), Chief Abraham Amah and made available to newsmen in Umuahia Tuesday.
The statement was captioned, “2023 Abia Guber: INEC’s impartiality is highly questionable.”
It reads in part: “Abia PDP is constrained to state in very unequivocal terms that the impartiality of INEC in the ongoing collation of the 2023 Abia governorship election results is very questionable because of recent decisions it has taken to favour a particular party.
“In the process of the collation, the Labour Party (LP) prayed INEC to audit the BVAS accreditation of Obingwa Local Government Area, which INEC graciously granted and has already started the audit.”
The party regretted that the audit was being carried out in the absence of its agents.
“The PDP agents have been shut out of the process, while the LP agents are involved.
“But to the chagrin of PDP, its request for INEC to subject the results of Aba North, Aba South, Umuahia North, Umuahia South, Osisioma and Arochukwu has been blatantly rejected.
“This is a clear case of partiality on the part of INEC in favour of the LP,” Amah added.
The ruling party therefore asked INEC to stop the audit and admit PDP agents into the exercise.
It further asked the commission to allow it time “to fly in its IT experts from the UK”.
It further asked INEC “to announce the results as they are and subject them to the judiciary for final adjudication.
“We also warn INEC to be mindful of the legal implications of tampering with the BVAS machines without a judicial clearance as this is clearly against the Electoral Act,” the statement added.
It contended that INEC’s recent behaviour is destructive to the nation’s democracy and would only serve to reverse the gains made in the past 24 years.
It warned that any attempt to subvert the popular will of the people by skewing the electoral process in favour of a particular candidate would be resisted.
The party, therefore, called on the people of the state to remain calm and peaceful, hoping that justice would prevail at the end.
Reacting to the statement, the Public Affairs Officer, Bamidele Oyetunji, debunked the allegation of bias against the commission.
Oyetunji said that the collation of the governorship election results was being done transparently.
“INEC in Abia has been conducting the collation transparently in the presence of the media.
“The commission is not in any way biased either against or in favour of any candidate,” Oyetunji said.
Recall that INEC Monday stopped the collation of the Obingwa results after its office in the area was allegedly invaded by thugs and the returning officer reportedly held hostage.