Tuesday, 26th September 2023
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Adamawa Police, Ebonyi Council boss, bars journalists from covering Poll

By Emmanuel Samaila (Yola) and Nnamdi Akpa (Abakaliki)  
16 April 2023   |   3:13 am
The Adamawa State Police Command, yesterday, barred journalists from accessing the Collation Centre of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state capital.

Voters Complain Of Disenfranchisement

The Adamawa State Police Command, yesterday, barred journalists from accessing the Collation Centre of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state capital.

A similar scenario played out in Ebonyi State, where the chairman of the Ikwo Local Council, Mr. Sunday Nwankwo, also barred journalists from monitoring the rerun election in the Ikwo North State Constituency. He ordered them to leave the Ndogadoshi 02 Polling Unit, Eche-Alike Ward 017.
The accredited journalists in Adamawa were turned back by heavily armed policemen, who said that they were “acting based on an order from above. We were told not to allow any journalist to have access to the collation centre.”
There were rumours across the state that there were secret moves by some elements to undermine the electoral process in favour of a particular political party.

This has led to a series of protests by the governorship campaign office of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which vowed to resist any attempt to undermine or compromise the governorship result.
Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of PDP, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, was leading the re-run poll at press time.  In Polling Unit 004 Ajiya Ward, Yola-North Local Council, the PDP scored 145, while the APC got 122.

In Polling Unit 011 in Demsa Local Council, the PDP scored 124, and APC got 43 votes. In Polling Unit 009 in Song Local Council, the PDP scored 83 and APC got 55 votes.
The Ikwo Local Council boss, The Guardian gathered threatened to deal with voters that lined up to cast their votes for other political parties apart from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The incident happened shortly after the incumbent member, representing Ikwo North State Constituency l, Humphrey Nwurukwu, allegations of serious malpractice.  
However, the council chairman denied the allegations and maintained that the exercise was going on well without security threats to voters.
Voters in Achi/Udemezue Polling Unit 019 in Abakaliki complained that they were being disenfranchised by the INEC. The voters noted that they were originally in Polling Unit 009, but on the creation of new polling units some of them were drafted to PU 019.
According to Mr. Leonard Obijiofor, a voter at the polling unit, “INEC is disenfranchising the people by not allowing them to vote in their original polling unit.
At some polling units INEC officials arrived as early as 7:30 am, and by 8:30 voters had started casting their votes.  The Chairman of Afikpo North Local Council, Mr. Uchenna Ibiam, commended INEC for the early commencement of the election. 

According to him, INEC officials arrived at the polling units with materials as early as 7:30 am, and voters began to exercise their franchise. 
“The good thing again is that people came out to vote. The process is so far free and fair, but at some point, some disgruntled PDP elements came to disrupt the exercise. We thank God that with the quick intervention of the Nigerian Police Force, and the Nigerian Army peace returned and the exercise continued.”
Earlier, the presiding officer in polling unit 019 Paul Oketa said: “The BVAS has been working perfectly, and the turnout is very impressive.
An observer from the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), who simply identified himself as Victor, alleged that security agencies were aiding irregularities in the poll.
“Yes, there is indeed the presence of security men, but they are not doing their work. I can confirm that there is a high level of laxity among them, and there is vote buying, and the rest of them.”