Deputy Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Ifeanyi Uchendu on Monday faulted claims by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Ohafia and other places where the national assembly elections did not hold, were enclaves of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
INEC had in its reply to the petition by Senator Mao Ohuabunwa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the declaration of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu of the All Progressive Congress (APC), as the winner of the Abia North senatorial contest, claimed that voters willfully stayed away from the polls where election did not hold because they were sympathetic to IPOB.
But the Deputy Speaker, the PDP House of Representatives candidate for Arochukwu-Ohafia federal constituency in the 2023 election, who disagreed with INEC over the claims said the electoral body “lied”.
He claimed that INEC deliberately failed to conduct an election in many polling units in Ohafia during the national assembly election.
The Deputy-Speaker stated that it was ridiculous for INEC to tag the people as IPOB sympathisers just “to justify the open robbery of their mandate”.
He explained that ironically, elections still held peacefully during the governorship and state house of assembly polls in the affected areas.
“INEC is lying,” Uchendu told Vanguard. “It’s only fabricating excuses to justify the broad-day robbery of the mandate of the people that it supervised.
“During the governorship poll, the election was held peacefully in the same polling units where INEC failed to organize the election during the national assembly polls.
“During the February 25 polls, the Electoral Officer in charge of Ohafia Local Government was pleading with the people because voting materials did not arrive on time.
“Materials did not arrive until 5 pm and the EO came and appealed to the people, assuring them that the election will hold the next day. On the next day, people trooped out again, but the election did not hold. INEC told the people to come out again the next day.
“But before the next day, the same INEC started announcing results when the election did not hold in over 87 polling units with over 50,000 registered voters.”