PARTY LEADERS, CANDIDATES CALL FOR REMOVAL OF ABIA REC
Opposition parties in Abia State have called for the removal of the state Resident Electoral Commission (REC) of INEC, Austin Eni Okojie. They alleged that Okojie had compromised in favour of the government in power by aiding processes of rigging which would have taken place during last Saturday's botched National Assembly Elections in the state.
The parties also emphasised that any election conducted by the REC would not be acceptable to Abians. In a telephone text message he sent to Daily Sun, the National Chairman of Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), Chief Sam Nkire, reminded INEC officials , NYSC members and all security agencies involved in election duties, including police and army that their allegiance should be to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Nigerians and not to the government in power.
He said his experience at last Saturday's botched election gave him the impression that INEC, NYSC, and Security officials were not properly briefed about where their allegiance and loyalty should lie as they by their conduct, they appeared to be working for government in power in the state .
The PPA boss further reminded the electoral officers that their duty was to give equal rights to every Nigerian and not to favour members of any political party.
He said he had just delivered a letter to the Chairman of INEC, Attahiru Jega, where he called for the removal of the REC in Abia State over his activities in the state since he took over.
He advised all PPA supporters in subsequent elections to cast their votes and wait peacefully at the polling stations until the result were announced on the spot, adding that any attempt to take the result to anywhere to announce it was against the law.
He congratulated Prof Jega for cancelling the NASS election but hoped that all the names that were missing from the voters' register, and missing logos of political parties would have been sorted out before the next date of election.
The PPA national chairman appealed to Nigerians to approach the current elections with the fear of God and see the exercise as service to fatherland. In their own reaction, All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and Labour Party (LP) in Abia also called for the redeployment or removal of the INEC REC in the state. In separate interviews with newsmen on Monday in Umuahia, the two parties noted that the call had become necessary to ensure that the polls in the state were credible.
The state ANPP Chairman, Mr. Cassidy Agbai, said there were verifiable facts that Okojie had divided loyalty and was tilting towards the state government to rig the polls in Abia.