STAKE holder in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Coalition of Concerned Elders Forum in Kogi State on Sunday demanded for an immediate cancellation of the House of Representatives bye-election held in the State on Saturday, saying that the exercise was marred with the large scale of irregularities.
Addressing news men in Abuja yesterday, the Chairman of the Kogi State chapter of the party, Hon Samuel Uhuotu accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of vote buying. Snatching of ballot boxes, intimidation and harrasment of voters at the open glare of security Agencies and the officials of the INEC and urged the Commission to order for the fresh exercise in the interest of justice.
According to him,” officials of the state government were on hand to make life unbearable for the electorate, particularly those sympathetic to the PDP in the two Local Governments where the exercise took place.
“We demand outright cancellation of of the House of Representatives bye-election held on August 11, 2018, as same was marred with gross irregularities specifically, going by the election result released by INEC, APC purportedly scored 26, 860 votes whilst PDP allegedly polled 14, 845 votes.
“A total of 19, 760 registered votes were cancelled from 17 polling units in the federal constituency.
“Appointees and key officials of the Kogi State Government who were not indigenes or voters in the Federal Constituency were seen intimidating and harassing the electorates with armed thugs and officers of the Special Anti- Robbery Squad, SARS, and the Nigerian Police,” he said, adding that “accredited voters were not allowed to vote, as armed thugs shot sporadically into the air after accreditation, forcing the electorates to flee for their lives.
“In the early hours of Saturday 11th August 2018, these thugs were mobilized to all polling ‘units in the two local governments, some were dressed in mufti, others in brand new uniforms with “Special Force” encrypted and engraved on their shirts and on the caps.
“Others were seen in white hooded caps and fully armed. These Youths and fearful looking able bodied men were in the company of Security operatives, especially “the SARS” and were conveyed to their various operation theatres in Kogi State Government House Vehicles.
“These “Special Forces” and hoodlums became the instrument used by the Kogi state government under the instructions and supervision of its principal officials to unleash violence, snatch ballot boxes, drive away voters and opposition party agents in a desperate bid to swing the House of Representatives bye election in the favour of the ruling APC.
“We know them, we know their names their names, they can not run away from justice, we have compiled our facts and figures together in a petition and we have submitted this with the INEC in the State, then we will take sane to the INEC Headquarters in Abuja to seek for justice.”