The Edo State House of Assembly candidate for Accord Party in Uhunmwode constituency, Edith Ihueghian Isokpan, has described the last Assembly election as rape of the people’s constitutional rights to decide their representatives.
In a statement she personally signed, Isokpan said widespread irregularities during the election ensured the manipulation of the election to favour some candidates.
According to her, hundreds of voters in communities under Uhunmwode constituency were disenfranchised, as a result of collusion between the officials of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and agents of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as well as People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
She said security operatives and thugs went into unholy alliance to work for candidates of the APC and PDP.
“It is a crying shame and huge disappointment that agents of the organs of government, entrusted with organising and conducting free and fair elections, would connive with desperate candidates of the two big political parties to prevent people from exercising their franchise because of their fear of losing the election,” she said.
Isokpan said people, who were ready to cast their votes for her, based on the programmes she unfolded, were frightened and bullied out of voting areas by a combination of anti-democracy forces. “It is disheartening to have witnessed the horrifying behaviour by officials of government organs saddled with the responsibility to organise and conduct free and fair elections, taking sides with party candidates and agents of APC and PDP against voters, who they deprived of making use of their franchise because they were afraid they would lose to the Accord Party and its candidate, which is myself,” Isokpan said.
She accused the APC and PDP of deploying thugs to attack eligible voters on their way to the polling units to cast their votes.
“For those who succeeded in casting their votes, the police turned from maintaining law and order at the polling units into preventing the votes that were cast from being counted at the end of the day’s election. In fact, accord party agents, who followed the INEC bus on its way to the collation centre, in order to safeguard the people’s votes from election malpractices when INEC refused to count the votes at the polling units, were thrown out of the bus,” she said.
The Accord Party candidate said because of malpractices, “voting did not take place, at all, at polling units in some communities of Uhunmwode.
“For example, there was no voting in Urhokuosa, Okuosa Primary School; Evbuosa – Open space; Igue-Uwangue and Uwaugue Primary School, Ugbiyokho.
“Ballot boxes were snatched by thugs employed by the opposition parties in Obazgbon, and in Egbisi, votes were shared among APC and PDP.”