he Arrest of Ballot Papers Printers in Akwa Ibom
Dear Editor, It was very disturbing knowing the fact that State Security Service (SSS) personnel on Tuesday April 12, 2011 discovered that ballot papers meant for use in the April 26 governorship and house of assembly in Akwa Ibom were being printed in Eket in an outfit owned by a PDP chieftain. Mr. Emmanuel Edoho the CEO of Leats Concepts Limited located at 48 Afaha Uqua Road, Eket, was on tip off, arrested in connection with this by men of the security agency (SSS) who operated with two vehicles, a Peugeot Multipurpose Vehicle and a Toyota Hillux with registration numbers AG 654 UYY and AP 586 UYY respectively. The security men also took along with them the bulk of the printed ballot papers together with unexpired exposed printing plate with which the printing was carried out. I was a witness.
This is a serious electoral fraud which must not be swept under the carpet by INEC. The perpetrators (including their sponsors) must be exposed and brought to book, if Professor Attahiru Jega is serious with his mission towards free, fair, credible and transparent election. It is also important to remind INEC not to claim paternity of the Eket ballot papers as it did for the intercepted one million presidential ballot papers found with an Abuja printer recently; INEC claimed they were their yet to be fully explained 'dummy' copies.
This is electoral malpractice too many in Akwa Ibom State. Last national assembly election witnessed large scale fraud. Places where balloting took place, they were done in orderly manner and people knew the vote they cast but were surprised to see the large figures being attributed to PDP. Where voting did not take place, figures were allotted to political parties at will. Ballot boxes were snatched at gun-points. Some police officials together with some INEC officials (some real and others fake) colluded with the government in power to perpetrate the electoral frauds; little wonder why the Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom, Felix Uyanna was the only among his 35 other colleagues not affected in the mass transfer carried by the IG Hafiz Ringim at the eve of scheduled April 2 election which was later shifted to April 9.
Many people have described all the happenings in Akwa Ibom as signs of desperation on the side of ruling government that claims to have performed wonderfully for the people. It is being wondered that if it is so, the electorate should be left to willingly demonstrate their appreciation of this through the ballot box; instead the government is using all means to frustrate the entire intended genuine process.
Obong Okon Uwem,
EKET, Akwa Ibom State.