Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has dismissed the governorship/state Assembly election in the state as a sham and a mockery of democracy, saying that he has lost confidence in the nation’s democracy.
Okorocha, while addressing a mammoth crowd of aggrieved youths from various parts of the state who paid him a solidarity visit at the Government House, Owerri, accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of brazen complicity in the conduct of the exercise.
He warned that the sham, if allowed to prevail, would stultify the nation’s democratic system and promote injustice and iniquity to the highest crescendo.
“It is obvious that INEC in Imo is not guaranteeing us free, fair and credible election because Uche Nwosu, the governorship candidate of the Action Alliance (AA), actually won the election but INEC criminally disbanded electoral officers of the Commission and introduced people from Abia College of Agriculture who arrived in the state at midnight.
They brought people they had been training for weeks in Anambra before the election.”
According to him, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state manipulated the results of the election from the three local government areas (LGAs) of Mbaise, thereby vitiating democracy in the state, ended up in only nine LGAs as against 18 LGAs stipulated by the constitution.
The governor cautioned the state REC, Prof. Francis Ezeonu, not to wreck the state, insisting that the conspiracy associated with the polls was targeted at him.
The anger-stricken governor dismissed insinuations in some quarters that he held the INEC officer under duress to declare him winner of the Imo West Senatorial polls, saying that the insinuation was an insult to him.
While urging INEC to disabuse the minds of the public on this, he appealed that his INEC Certificate of Return be issued to him as the winner of the polls so to spare the nation’s democracy from contempt and disdain, saying “I am no longer proud of democracy in our state because of what INEC is doing”.
The youths had earlier in their submissions denounced the gubernatorial election as a monumental disaster loaded with fraud and irregularities, warning that injustice is a threat to justice everywhere.
“Imo a peaceful state but unfortunately, some misguided elements cashed in on this and raped our democracy”.
The youths, who spoke through their spokespersons, George Iloanya and Ezenna Okoro, insisted that Peter should not be robbed to pay Paul and urged the INEC to do the needful by organizing a fresh credible election in the state.