Nigeria: SDP Candidate Demands Fresh Election in Orlu, Orsu, Oru East

2 March 2019

The Social Democratic Party candidate for the Federal House of Representatives of Orlu, Orsu and Oru East in Imo State, Mrs. Christina Ude, has called for an outright re-run of the February, 23, 2019 National Assembly election in Orlu, Orsu and Oru East, citing gross irregularities and fraudulent manipulation of results by Independent National Electoral Commission's staff, corpers, opposition party and security operatives attached to the polling units.

Mrs. Ude, stated in a release that, on the election day she and her party's agents were fully prepared for a peaceful election.

She said: "However, the issues within the 29 polling units in the three local government areas, as observed by my agents, were a gross manipulation of electoral process, intimidation of voters by both hired thugs, security agents alleged to be working for some political parties.

"While in some polling units, agents and adhoc staff were seen thumb printing the ballot papers, there is also available records of total discovery of vote buying in Oru East and Orlu Local Government respectively."

She also said the lives of her agents and those who wanted to vote for her were threatened in 29 polling units by hired thugs.

According to her, the rigging was done in such a way that the NYSC adhoc staff of INEC were all involved in the manipulation by wrongly misleading elderly voters on which party to vote for.

At some polling units, some wore tags and a rubber band chanting "you can only vote for PDP here ooo"

She said that at Orsu Local Government Area, there were neither a card reader machine nor any PVC.

She said: "What INEC officials did was to bring the paper that had the photocopy of the PVC's, they would then ask you to sign, after which they would stamp and give out the ballot papers for the thumb printing and also insisting on the particular party to be thumb printed."

These scenarios, she said, were unfair and a threat to the nation's democracy.

She said: "I believe that, it is unfair to impose any candidate on the electorates. Nigerians must and should be allowed to freely choose their representatives but what happened was a clear demonstration of selfishness and power drunk by desperate politicians.

Above all, Orlu, Orsu and Oru East federal constitutiency in the past had not witnessed such fraudulent and open manipulation of results and other forms electoral irregularities with armed uniform men, who pretended to be guarding the polling units whereas they were working for a particular purpose against the interest of the masses.

She, therefore demanded an outright re-run of the election in the federal constituency while urging the officials of the independent national electoral commission to rise up to the challenges by not allowing such an ugly disruption of democracy to reoccur.

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