LP faults presidential, National Assembly polls
After previewing the recently held presidential and National Assembly polls, the Labour Party (LP) yesterday distanced itself from the widely held notion that the elections was free and fair
LP’s National Chairman, Abdulkadir Abdusalam particularly accused the ruling Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) and the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) as the worst culprits during the conduct of the polls. The party also warned against a repeat of the act in the gubernatorial election holding on Saturday.
Meanwhile, former Governor of the defunct Bendel State, Dr Samuel Ogbemudia, has lauded the presidential election that produced Maj- Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of the APC.
Abdulsalam who addressed reporters in Abuja insisted that the March 28 presidential election was however characterized by military intimidation, electoral malpractices, fraud, collusion and substitution of authentic figures.
He claimed that instances abound in most states of the federation where ad-hoc staff engaged by the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) and military men brazenly thumb printed ballot papers in favour of the PDP.
The LP chief alleged that in most polling units in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, electoral materials were not made available before 12 noon adding that agents of the PDP in collaboration with the military men, coerced voters who were mainly supporters of his party to thumb print on PDP’s Logo.
He also claimed that PDP agents openly shared money during the voting in most of the polling units monitored by the LP agents across most states in the South East.
He further alleged that soldiers deployed to collation centres terrorized people, beat up others and scared away everyone before ferrying INEC staffers to Ohankwu, headquarters of Ezzamgbo council in Ebonyi State to alter the authentic result in favour of the PDP.
Abdusalam who reeled out report of electoral malpractices in most states of the federation, thereby demanded the removal of the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in charge of Akwa Ibom State on the basis that he connived with government officials in the state in the distribution of fake ballot papers and result sheets.
In Jere council of Borno State, according to the LP helmsman, election was marred by irregularities in most polling units as ad-hoc staff and their supervisors violated electoral rule by conveying ballot papers to police stations instead of LG collation centres where APC agents thumb printed votes without the presence of other political party agents.
The LP chief also claimed that the election in Rivers state was characterized by ballot boxes stuffing, abandonment of the use of the biometric card and the use of security agents to intimidate supporters of other parties by the PDP and its agents.
In a statement in Benin City, Ogbemudia also commended President Goodluck Jonathan for conceding victory to his major rival in the contest just as he urged his party, the PDP to “look inwards” and strategise for future elections.
On Buhari, he said, “I have known him since 1963 when he commissioned into the Nigerian Army. I had the privilege to see some of his confidential reports written by his commanders in which he was described as a young officer with boundless energy, and willing to continue when others are tired.
Energy and resilience he has truly demonstrated in politics by winning a historic election at the fourth attempt. I am confident he will lead Nigeria into a remarkable era.”
While calling on the PDP to reflect on what led to its defeat, Ogbemudia said, “To my party, the PDP, this is an opportunity to begin to demonstrate capacity as a viable and credible alternative in the service of the
nation. A peep into what went wrong is called for”.
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