BREAKING: Abia’s governor election counting will resume at 4 PM today.
According to reliable sources, the Abia State governorship election collation, which was put on hold earlier today (Wednesday), would pick up by 4 p.m. at the Collation Center inside the Independent National Electoral Commission, or INEC, headquarters Umuahia.
The Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Professor Nnenna Oti, and the State Administrative Secretary, Clement Oha, who were invited to the INEC headquarters in Abuja over the controversy from the Obingwa results, were on their way back to the state to complete the process, according to INEC’s Head of Voter Education and Publicity, Mrs. Rebecca Jim, who confirmed this to our Correspondent.
In response to complaints of violations, particularly overvoting in some regions, INEC reportedly postponed the collation of the governorship election results in Abia and Enugu on Monday, according to Vanguard.
The Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System, or BVAS, machines only certified less than 27,000 voters in Obingwa, although sources claimed that the incumbent Peoples Democratic Party, or PDP, received more than 100,000 votes from the council.
With over 92,000 votes from the results of 16 of the state’s 17 LGAs, the main opposition Labour Party, LP, which was already in the lead, cried foul and claimed that the “mystery statistics” had been fabricated by the government.
When the decision from INEC headquarters in Abuja arrived for the exercise to be halted, and the action relocated to Abuja, results from 26 LGAs had already been officially announced at the INEC Collation Centre, but Obingwa results had not yet been presented.
Since the gridlock began, Abia had experienced high levels of tension due to protests and mounting calls from locals for INEC to announce the victor of the election and prevent the people’s will from being overridden.
The Abia Patriots, led by former Commissioner for Youth Development Dannie Ubani, and the recently-retired Chairman of the Board of Internal Revenue, Professor Udo Ogbonnaya, had urged INEC to halt further delays in announcing the contest’s winner, which could be “clearly seen by all according to INEC statistics,” at a press conference held on Tuesday in Umuahia.
They begged INEC to spare Abia from unnecessary political unrest and issued a dire warning that any mistake in judgment or attempt to overturn popular will could set the scene on fire.
The patriots questioned how more than 100,000 voters awoke from their graves to cast their ballots in the governorship race in Obingwa and then went back to their graves, leaving less than 27,000 to cast their ballots in the concurrent state house of assembly election.