The governorship candidates of the All Progressives Grand Alliance and All Progressives Congress in Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti and Chief Uche Ogah, have jointly rejected the result of Saturday’s poll.
The two front line candidates in the election alleged at a joint press conference in Umuahia on Sunday that “the results were highly tampered with in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party.”
They therefore called for the total cancellation of the results, saying they would be ready for a repeat poll as may be ordered by the Independent National Election Commission.
Otti, who said they represented the other 30 governorship candidates in the election, also accused INEC of having “implemented the guidelines for the elections in breach.”
He said: “INEC had told the nation that any results collated and that does not agree with smart card reader will be cancelled.”
He said all the results collated in the various local government areas “were not only fraudulent but do not represent the true reflection of the outcome of the elections.”
He further said that the results “were also not consistent with the card reader details.”
Otti alleged that in spite of the warnings by the opposition, “INEC connived with security agencies to change the results in favour of PDP.”
He also took exception to the appointment of Prof. Benjamin Ozurumba, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, as the Returning Officer for the Abia election.
He recalled that Ozurumba was the returning officer in the 2015 governorship poll in Abia State, when he cancelled some results of the poll but later reversed the cancellation.
He said that APGA had expected INEC to have appointed another vice chancellor from another university in the country, rather than Ozurumba.
He said: “We also had expected INEC to have implemented its own regulation and queried every card reader as they had stated before accepting the figures.
“We reject in totality, the results of 2019 governorship election as announced by INEC and demand its total cancellation in the entire state.”
In his contribution, Ogah said the result of the poll was unacceptable to him, alleging that a lot of APC supporters were intimidated, harassed and deprived from freely exercising their franchise.
Also, the state Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, Rev. August Ehiemere, said the body rejected the results as announced by INEC and called for its cancellation.
Reacting to the allegations, the INEC Public Relations Officer in the state, Bamidele Oyetunji, said the commission neither connived with PDP nor security agencies to favour any party or candidate.
Oyetunji said the commission conducted the entire polls in compliance with the laid down regulations and guidelines.
“They are entitled to their opinion but they must know that every allegation has to be substantiated with evidence,” he said.