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Politics of Thursday, 11 November 2021

Source: www.vanguardngr.com

Anambra: ‘Depleted APGA too weak to have won’ —Andy Uba rejects gov’ship election result

Andy Uba, APC Governorship candidate in the 2021 Anambra gubernatorial election Andy Uba, APC Governorship candidate in the 2021 Anambra gubernatorial election

The All Progressives Congress APC Governorship candidate in Anambra state, Sen. Andy Uba has rejected the outcome of last Saturday’s Governorship election as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, saying, “it is surprising that APGA that lost almost 80% of its stalwarts through defection to the APC before the election came out ‘victorious’.

“The outcome of the election was a charade and did not reflect the wishes of the people of Anambra State”, said Ambassador Jerry Ugokwe, spokesperson of the Senator Andy Uba Campaign Organization.

The development came as INEC disclosed its readiness to present the Certificate of Return to the Governor-elect of the state, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA.

Uba, a victim of electoral fraud, campaign organization alleges

The campaign organization said its candidate was a victim of widespread electoral fraud and manipulation by INEC.

It said a depleted APGA which saw its serving deputy governor in the state and about 17 state and federal lawmakers defecting to the APC could not be said to have been in any position to win the election.

Part of the statement reads; “Our popular candidate, Senator Andy Uba is a victim of widespread electoral fraud and manipulation by INEC in cohort with the Willie Obiano Regime and the security forces deployed to oversee the Anambra State Governorship Election.

“The elections were characterized by widespread irregularities, intimidation and voter suppression in order to clear the path for the inglorious ‘victory’ of APGA in the polls.

“For instance, in polling units where the Biometric Voters’ Accreditation System malfunctioned, INEC went ahead to conduct the elections manually. There were numerous cases where votes announced by INEC exceeded the number of accredited voters in polling units.

“Another clear manifestation of collusion between the Obiano Administration and INEC was the publishing of results on the Social Media handles of APGA even before the official announcement by INEC. Yet mysteriously, the votes announced in advance by APGA always corresponded correctly with the official figures released by INEC.

“It is inconceivable that our candidate, who polled over 200,000 votes in the APC primary election would be allocated slightly above 43,000 votes by INEC.

“It is surprising that APGA that lost almost 80% of its stalwarts through defection to the APC before the election came out ‘victorious’. A sitting APGA Deputy Governor, seven members of the House of Representatives, 10 members of the Anambra State House of Assembly, the APGA party’s member of Board of Trustees, many serving SA’s, SSA’s, in addition to a serving PDP Senator all defected to the APC very timely before the election, yet APGA emerged ‘victorious. This is quite ridiculous!

“From all indications, the only people remaining in APGA at the time of the election were Governor Obiano and his household and a few staff of the Government House as well as Prof. Soludo and his household but the majority of the electorates in Anambra State have moved to the APC. There was definitely no way the carcass of APGA could have defeated the APC without the active collusion and manipulation by INEC and the Obiano Administration.

“What happened on November 6, 2021, fell far below the acceptable standard of a free and fair election and can best be described as an electoral fraud perpetrated by the INEC, Willie Obiano Administration and the security forces.

“We have noted that starting from the appointment of INEC Adhoc staff, who mostly came from Calabar to the distribution of electoral materials and the retention of the Resident Electoral Commissioner, who supervised the second term election of Governor Obiano, it was crystal clear that the game plan was to overturn the popular wishes of the people of Anambra State in the biggest electoral heist of all time in Nigeria’s political history.

“While we appeal to our supporters to remain peaceful and calm, we will not relent in pursuing our stolen electoral mandate to the limit of the law through all the constitutional means available as the facts on the ground did not in any way reflect the outcome of the elections as announced by the obviously compromised INEC”.

Meanwhile, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Barr. Festus Okoye in a statement said the commission will issue Certificates of Return to Prof. Soludo and the deputy governor-elect on Friday (today).

“Following the conclusion of the election and as provided for in Section 75 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), certificates of return will be presented to the Governor-elect and Deputy Governor-elect tomorrow Friday 12th November 2021 at our State office in Awka”, he stated.

He said the 2021 Anambra State Governorship election was conducted under the most challenging circumstances.

“Never before did the Commission have to grapple with numerous issues ahead of an off-season Governorship election, including attacks on our facilities, withdrawals of critical service providers such as the ad hoc staff and transporters on the eve of the election and the general tension pervading the atmosphere. Happily, the election passed off peacefully”, Okoye stated.

On the functionality of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System BVAS, he said the commission will continue to test-run it in order to achieve perfection.

He said; “After the supplementary election in Ihiala Local Government Area on Tuesday 9th November 2021 and before the process was concluded, the Commission commenced a preliminary review of the functionality of systems, particularly the newly introduced Bimodal Voter Accreditation System BVAS.

“The system performed two functions on election day. First is the accreditation of voters using both fingerprint and facial authentication. Secondly, it snaps the polling unit level result sheets and uploads them in real-time to the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal. This aspect of the BVAS functionality performed optimally such that by the early hours of Sunday morning, results from 4,987 (88.5%) out of 5,634 polling units had been uploaded for public view. While still in the field, our ICT team responded to the identified glitches in the accreditation of voters and corrected them. Consequently, in the Ihiala supplementary election, there were no reported incidents of BVAS malfunction.

“We will carry out an in-depth examination of the system, review reports from accredited observers and the media and respond to all identified challenges ahead of the next major Area Council election in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), held on 12th February 2022.

“We shall again test run the system in the bye-election (s) that may arise before then. The Commission remains convinced that despite some glitches experienced in Anambra State Governorship election, the deployment of technology in elections is better than the best manual process”.