Revealed: How APC plans to rig election in Abia

Few days before the January 29th visit of President Buhari to Abia State, APC Chieftain and former Governor of the state, Orji Uzor Kalu, received suspected sensitive INEC materials including result sheets in his Igbere residence. The materials were moved to an underground room in his “Camp Neya” residence and the following day he invited other APC chieftains including Uche Ogah, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu, Marc Wabara, Donatus Nwankpa, Mascot Uzor Kalu, Nkiruka Onyejiocha, Martins Azubuike and Acho Obioma to his house for secret discussions on the deployment of the materials and plans to ensure that the party wins the election.

During the meeting, Orji Kalu informed his party men of the arrival of the materials assuring that Senator Hope Uzodinma received similar materials for IMO State that were dispatched from INEC Abuja through the APC national headquarters in Abuja. He shared out the materials to his lieutenants and instructed them to use the data of registered voters handed over to them to write the results of the presidential and National Assembly elections for Abia State, ramp up their campaigns to ensure that when the results are released people will not protest when they award a minimum of 73% of votes to President Buhari and victory to APC candidates.

After the visit of President Buhari, Orji Kalu also invited the Vice Chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Professor Francis Otunta, to his house and instructed him to only submit the names of trusted allies as returning and collation officers for the election to INEC as well as give them the completed result sheets that he promised to hand over to him in Umuahia two days to the election.

As directed, Prof Otunta submitted the names of about 200 workers of the institution to INEC headquarters through the State’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Joseph Iloh, while excluding lecturers and others he considered pro-PDP. The submission of the list led to uproar in the university community as those excluded protested to the REC during a training program for those selected. With intervention by the INEC headquarters that got wind of the situation, the REC was directed to include all the lecturers who applied for electoral duties in the training program pending a final compilation of the list of ad hoc staff that will be published on Friday, 15th January.

The pro-APC ad hoc staff from MOUAU led by Prof B. O. Emereole include Engr. C. I. Okoro, Prof R N Echebiri who is currently supervising the entry of results into the already received INEC results sheets and Dr C. Amoke. They were lodged at the Igbere home of Orji Kalu and have made preparations to receive others on Friday night prior to the Saturday election.

On Thursday, February 14, Orji Kalu sent his assistants to two security chiefs in the state to deliver two million five hundred thousand Naira (N2,500,000.00) each as inducement for provision of security cover to enable him implement his plan. He subsequently  embarked on a series of live radio programs in Umuahia to drum up support for his senatorial election with a view to making his victory and that of APC candidates appear inevitable.

Meanwhile, tension is high in Abia North Senatorial zone as the APGA candidate in the election, Chief Bourdex Onuoha, has vowed to resist attempts to rig the election. His spokesman, Hon. Kalu Mba Kalu, told party supporters in Ohafia that they are aware of the rigging plan of their opponents and will “resist attempts to write results of the election”. He called on them to vote and follow the result to the collation centers.

Our investigation reveals that APGA and PDP also have collation and returning officers sympathetic to their cause among the ad hoc staff from  Michael Okpara University. Prof. Inya Ogbonnaya Okoro and Dr. Eke Udochi who are among known campaigners for APGA and members of Alex Otti’s campaign train were included in the list along with Dr Philip Nto who is a PDP sympathizer that returned to the institution in November 2018 after serving as Chairman of the Board of Abia State College of Education (Technical) Arochukwu.

Post a Comment