The Abia State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reshuffle its ad hoc staff in order to ensure a credible outcome of the. April 11 polls.
The Chairman of Abia APC, Hon. Donatus Nwankpa, made the call at a press conference in Umuahia, saying that his party came up with this position because of its experience during the first round of the 2015 general election.
He reiterated the allegations by Abia APC that the March 28, polls were characterised by electoral malpractices hence the need to guard again reoccurrence.
“We condemn the manner the National Assembly election was conducted in the state on March 28 which featured late arrival of materials at the polling units, maltreatment and intimidation of election officials and party agents, among others,” he said.
The APC chairman vowed that his party would vehemently resist any attempt to falsify figures in the governorship and House of Assembly polls.
Nwankpa specifically accused the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of using the Transition Committee Chairmen at the council areas to doctor the results of the poll and called for the cancellation of all National Assembly results in the state .
He even threatened that Abia APC would be forced to announce its own result if INEC failed to heed the call and make public the original results obtained at the various polling units which he alleged were manipulated at the collation centres.
The Abia APC chairman therefore called for an end in the use of council headquarters as collation centres during the forthcoming polls.
According to him, agents of opposition parties were denied access to the centres while the TC chairmen colluded with some compromised INEC ad- hoc staff to subvert the people’s will.
The party also called on INEC to convene a meeting of all political parties in the state, the security agencies and other necessary stakeholders to brainstorm on how to check rigging of the polls at the collation centres.
Nwankpa regretted that Ndigbo had lost their place in Nigeria’s political tripod, and urged the people to identify with APC so as to salvage what is left of the sad deveelopment.
“ We should see the Saturday election as a challenge. We should reclaim our position in the nation’s polity, Abia cannot afford to be in the opposition this time around,” he said.
He argued that by voting APC on April 11, the Abia electorate would ensure that the victory of the party in the state was brought into the mainstream party, adding that God’s own state cannot afford to be in the opposition party.
The press briefing attracted many APC bigwigs in Abia, including the governorship candidate, Chief Nyerere Anyim, a member of APC Board of Trustees, Chief Sam Nkire; former deputy governor, Chief Chris Akomas; former governorship candidate of Action Congress of Nigeria, Paul Ikonne and among others.