Presidential,NASS Polls: 10,000 Imo Women Protest Military, Police Misconduct
Over ten thousand women in Imo State, Wednesday, took over the streets of the state capital, Owerri, protesting alleged misconduct by the Military and other security agencies during last Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly election.
The women, adorned in black, stormed the Headquarters of the 34 field Artillery brigade, Obinze, calling on the Army high command to caution the soldiers to stay away from politics.
Presenting a Petition to the representative of the Commanding Officer (CO), leaders of the group: Mrs. Uju Ihejiagwa and Barr. Nwando Anyasinti lamented over what she described as day-light robbery of people of the State, describing the announcement of Governor Rochas Okorocha as Senator-elect for Orlu zone as fraudulent.
“Governor Rochas Okorocha committed electoral fraud by using Military Force, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and thugs to intimidate, harass and maim unsuspecting and unprotected Imo voters. He connived with some staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission-INEC to subvert the wish of the masses, by manipulating the outcome of the election and ensuring the announcement of fake results.”
“We also protest the brutal assassination of two of our sons, killed at Ejemekwuru in Oguta LGA, during the Governor’s campaign rally in the area. The Governor used security agencies to harass, intimidate and rig the elections in the February 23rd election. Collation agents were intimidated and molested. Electoral materials were stolen and fake results written, submitted and announced, with the aid of INEC.”
“We hereby request that the Military and other security agents desist from being used to rig elections anymore in Imo State. We call on the Brigade Commander of 34 Field Artillery Brigade, Obinze to warn and caution his boys to desist from getting involved in electoral fraud.”
“We also call on the Imo State Commissioner of Police to give same orientation to his men in the Police Force to stay off actions that aid electoral fraud and subversion of the people’s wish.”
The protesters also stormed the Imo State headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission-INEC, where they warned the Commission to desist from aiding electoral fraud in the state, while calling on the Commission to restore the people’s mandate.
In his response, while receiving the protesters, Head, Voter Education of the INEC in Imo State, Mr. Sunday Adedoyin assured them that the Commission will look into the issues raised, with a view to ensuring that necessary steps are taken to forestall future occurrences.
The protesting women also marched to the Imo State Police Headquarters, Headquarters of the National Security and Civil Defense Corps in the State, as well as the Department of State Services, where they also delivered the same message.
The over ten thousand women were drawn from the twelve Local Government Areas that make up Orlu Senatorial zone of the State.
It would be recalled that the Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha was, amidst protests announced winner of the February 23rd National Assembly election to represent Orlu zone at the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
Multiple petitions have been written to the INEC to complain of electoral fraud, disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of registered voters, intimidation and harassment by Police and the Army, as well as criminal diversion of electoral materials and manipulation of the outcome of the election by staff of the Independent national Electoral