Tobe Nnamani, a Catholic priest, has narrated how some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission serving in Enugu East LGA of the state frustrated electorate during the 25th February National Assembly and presidential polls.
He said it was ‘amazing how our own people are deliberating sabotaging the electoral process meant to usher in leaders’. He spoke in Enugu in a chat with newsmen.
Quoting him, “It is a pity that the people appointed to do the work are sabotaging it. I had to drive to the headquarters of the LGA when we didn’t see the INEC official around 10am. It was about three minutes’ drive from the council headquarters to Ukwudara at Amorji Nike where the election was taking place.
“When I asked them, they said there was no bus. I was disappointed. When they started eventually, they said there was no ink. I had to go and look for ink for them. When it finished, they started applying water in the ink. And the papers were being soaked. When the counting started, they said those papers were invalid, but everybody started shouting ‘no’. And the papers were counted.
“If INEC had no ink, what are they talking about? My unit had over 1200 persons. INEC knew the number due for accreditation, and they chose not to have ink, with all the money that they were given for logistics. I think INEC used it to reduce the number of people that would have voted. Some people went home after the frustration.
“I took two persons to their polling units. They told me they were told that their names were not there. I told them to enter the car, and eventually their names were there when I persisted. It was voter suppression. It was a deliberate attempt.
“I am afraid for this country because the institutions are not working. The fact that we had about four persons who are not from Zamfara posted to work and they chose to sabotage the exercise is frustrating. Our own people sabotage what we were doing. I couldn’t believe it.”
He praised Nigerian electorate for their resilience, adding that, “They were resilient. People came to vote because of their belief that results would be transmitted straight to INEC’s server. In Abuja, they were calling results we didn’t know the sources. How did they generate the results? The result in Adamawa was copied and pasted in Abia State. It was a charade. I will score Nigerians 90%, and INEC fail.”
He urged Nigerians not to use physical force in expressing their anger. According to him, “There are instances where elections were annulled. So Nigerians should document realities. Recall that Biafra war was a result of election rigging. And since then, rigging has been ongoing in Nigeria, except the Abiola election. This particular one is the worst.
“Inconsistency is much. We didn’t have enough observes to cover the elections. There were many places that INEC people wanted to do something but the people said no. The resilience of the people changed it. Security agencies were compromised.”