Imo State governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has slammed the Independent National Electoral Commission for its decision to declare the state gubernatorial election inconclusive.
The INEC Returning Officer of the State, Ibidapo Obe, announced that the election was inconclusive because the margin (79,529) between the frontrunner, Mr. Okorocha and his contender, Emeka Ihedioha of Peoples Democratic Party, was less than the number of registered voters (144,715) in wards across the state where elections did not hold or were cancelled due to violence.
Mr. Okorocha, while speaking to news men at the Government House in Imo State early Monday, said
“The electoral act has talked about registered voters and in the workings of that act and in the spirit of the law, you cannot not make use of number of registered voters, you have to make use of number of PVC collected.
“When you look at the number of PVC collected you find out that there is no need for this supplementary election because the number of PVC collected will be less than the 79,000 votes difference between me and the PDP candidate. But now they are basing on the number of registered voters. Number of registered voters do not cast the vote; it is the number of PVC collected that does,” You can only change the date of a burial but you cannot change the burial. From the results available, the fact speaks for itself, we have won this election despite all the irregularities, I am the winner”
“Let me say that there is no basis for comparison when I’m told that I’m in contest with the PDP candidate and he scored some votes it is not true. I think I’m in contest with more unseen elements than the candidate himself. If this election is conducted in the way it should be conducted in a free and fair manner, my opponent would have up to 100,000 votes. Never. Not in Imo State; not at all,”
“If you look at what has happened in his areas of jurisdiction and his local government, Mbaise local government, Ahiazu, Ezinnite, Aboh Mbaise, where he gave himself almost 80,000 votes. Can you imagine in Aboh Mbaise, you have 51,000 voters when the actual PVC collected is about 60,000 and in Mbaitoli where you have over 100,000 PVC collected the total votes there is about 30,000 so that tells you the manipulation. What we saw in those areas was simply the militarisation of the entire process – snatching of ballot boxes and violence and what have you.
“But because of these manipulations and writing of results and taking result sheets and going to somebody’s house – escorted by security agencies- to write the result and come in the private car to INEC headquarters, that is why many people think there is a contest. So I’m not in contest with that gentle man, I’m in contest with the entire manipulation of the system and the election,”
INEC said a new date would be announced for a supplementary election.