19 February 2019

Nigeria: Election Postponement - Ekweremadu Alleges Missing Result Sheets in Enugu

The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has raised the alarm over an alleged plan by unnamed persons to rig him out of the National Assembly election rescheduled to take place on Saturday, February 23.

A statement on Monday evening by Mr. Ekweremadu's Special Adviser on Media, Uche Anichukwu, alleged that INEC result sheets for the district during the botched Presidential and National Assembly elections were missing.

But the spokesperson for INEC in the state, Pius Eze, said everything is in order and that there is no cause for alarm.

The Deputy Senate President made the allegation at a town hall meetings organised in the five local government areas in his district. He said he had brought the matter to the attention of the electoral umpire, and called on Nigerians not to despair over the postponement, but rather strengthen their resolve to improve their lives through the ballot box.

He said the town hall meeting was organised to gauge the pulse of the people and sensitise them on the need to participate in the rescheduled elections.

Speaking at Oji, headquarters of Oji River Local Government Area of the state, Mr Ekweremadu said; "Some people intended the Saturday elections for evil, but all things work together for good unto those that love God, those who repose their absolute trust in Him.

"Don't forget that some people had earlier boasted how they would overrun us by isolating the state for a staggered election. You must also have read the reports that Enugu State was one of the states that didn't receive any materials or materials were incomplete.

"They ensured that the result sheets for the entire Enugu West Senatorial District were missing or not delivered. I have lodged the complaint with the INEC authorities, but the result sheets are still missing as I speak.

"So, I urge you and indeed Nigerians to remain vigilant. Don't despair. Don't allow your spirits to be broken. We have come very far in this struggle and we are now at a point of no retreat, no surrender.

"Use the opportunity of the rescheduled dates to make your voices heard louder at the polls. Those who travelled to vote should, please, exercise a little more patience by staying behind or endeavouring to return this weekend to cast their votes. I expect every Nigerian to be where he or she will cast ballots on the rescheduled dates."

But speaking with PREMIUM TIMES, the INEC spokesman in the state said everything was under control and that the electoral body would be fair to all parties in the rescheduled election.

When this newspaper visited the INEC office located on Independence Layout in the state capital, returned card readers were already being reconfigured by ICT officers at the conference hall within the INEC office.

"There is no cause for alarm," Mr Eze said. "Elections will be conducted in Enugu State and they will be free, fair and credible. Since Sunday we have commenced the reconfiguration of the card readers and will continue until they are completed."

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