Vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Peter Obi has faulted the manner the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) conducted the last Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections, decrying that the exercise was characterised by large scale manipulation.
The former governor of Anambra state who spoke to newsmen who at his Onitsha, Anambra state residence, yesterday lamented that a large number of voters in the South-East states were disenfranchised because of failure of Smart-Card-Readers in many voting Centres.
He stated that he was inundated with telephone calls from voters at many voting Centres in the state during the elections who called to complain to him that they could not exercise their civic rights because, either that the card reader could not verify their finger-prints or that the card reader was totally not functional.
The PDP Vice-presidential candidate said that it was the deliberate manipulation of the voting process using dysfunctional card readers accounted for why only a total of 675,273 voters out of a total of 2, 389, 332 registered voters in the state were the only ones that scaled through accreditation process during election.
Stating that the large scale failure of the card readers characterized the conduct of the elections in the entire South-East states, and, was deliberately done to disenfranchise the people of the zone, Mr. Obi warned that the INEC by that action has “put tour country’s hard earned democracy in danger”, adding, “We had expected that this election will record improvement on the credibility recorded in our electoral process in 2015 general elections,but, the manipulation we saw has put our electoral process on the reverse gear”.
Asked whether he would still hold the same opinion if at the end of the day his party, the PDP is declared winner of the presidential election, the PDP Vice-presidential candidate, stated that as far as he was concerned it is very clear to everyone that the election was manipulated, wondering why there has not been any arrest of anybody by the police in connection with burning of the card readers in Anambra state INEC headquarters, Awka , few days to the postponement of the election in February 16, or the circumstances that caused the inferno unraveled.
He stated that for Nigeria to overcome the myriad of the socio-economic problems plaguing it, the people should be allowed to choose their leaders in a free and fair elections, as such leaders would not only earn the trust of the people but would work to satisfy the aspirations of the people they are exercising their mandate.
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