Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Vice Presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, has alleged that people of South East were tactically disenfranchised in last Saturday’s election.
Obi while reacting to the result of the presidential election in Anambra State, said that many people who came out to vote were denied voting because of card readers malfunctioning.
He said: “I’m sure all of you have seen the clearly articulated and planned disenfranchisement of the South East. From the outset of this election, there were harassment and intimidation of PDP members. The card readers meant for Anambra state were all burnt without any arrest but they told us that they replace them and everything was okay.”
“But on the election day, we saw that most of the card readers were not functioning or very slow. And where the card reader worked, not every voter that came out voted cause of the time frame they gave and in most highly-populated areas like Awada, Obosi, Ogidi and other places in Idemili were denied voting.
“In a place where 2.4 million registered only 600 people voted while in some places in Nigeria some people voted without card reader and even those who voted here without card reader, their votes were disqualified. About 80 polling units where card readers were not used were removed from the system.
“The result as was announced by INEC shows that PDP scored 524,738 while APC got 33, 298 showing what is called a reflection of what should have been all over the South East. I can only use Anambra as a case in point to form my judgement.
“I could see where there is less than 1.5 million registered voters having nearly a million people voted and where we have 2.4 million registered voters we couldn’t even achieve 700 and the reason is obvious because we were given a different set of condition and other areas were given different condition; it shouldn’t be.
“People have fought hard for this democracy but I think everything done in Nigeria is on the reserve. Whatever I’m telling here is my personal opinion. I believe that all of us should be thinking about what hope are giving to the younger ones, what hope are we giving to Nigerians.
“The hope we should be giving them is to continue on the gains of 2015 elections in which people are beginning to see that their votes counted. What happened in Anambra State is least expected.
“Winning is not the case, even if we win and the processes is wrong, we can still say that the processes is wrong where you have seen thousands of people who willingly came out to vote but they couldn’t vote but the reason is that they have were told that this is the condition for which they will vote and some other areas they were given another set of rules.”
If you look at the results across the South East, it is far low; you cannot have a situation where you have nearly 10 million registered voters just about 20 percent of that voted whereas other parts of the country they are above 50 percent. I saw that many people could not vote because the card reader was not working.
“There were so many polling units in different areas of the state. There were four polling units in Igboukwu, for example; there were so many of them in Obosi urban whereas there was non availability card reader,” Obi lamented.