Late arrival of Voting Materials And Malfunctioning of Card Readers Characterized Presidential and National Assembly Election in Abia State

By Steve unegbu Later arrival of voting materials ,INEC personnel and malfunctioned card readers characterized election in some parts of Abia state during the presidential and National Assembly elections .In some places ,the INEC personnel and voting materials did not arrive in some polling units until around 2 pm ,few hours after the official commencement of the polls . Hon.Ginger Onwusibe ,who is the PDP candidate for Isialangwa North constituency at Abia state House of Assembly ,who spoke with the Southeast breaking news,expressed his displeasure over the late arrival of election materials and INEC personnel. His words , ” We do not expect that after INEC postponed the election ,they still do not put things in order ” He ,however ,was very optimistic that PDP will come out victoriously .” We are optimistic ,the people will vote for us massively .We are going to win,because the people are with us ” For Hon.Darlyton Nwokocha ,who is the Federal House of Representative Member for Isialangwa North and South Constituency,disclosed his observations ,noting that the technical components of the electoral process was very faulty ,adding that the card readers were very inconsistent. He faulted INEC over their claim that they have improved the card readers, saying what was witnessed was a total sharp contrast to their claims. He revealed that 70 percent of the card readers were not working, making the process very frustrating,while urging INEC to stop telling Nigerians lies . In the same vein ,Rt Hon .Martins Azubuike ,who is the Abia state APC ,governorship running mate to Dr Uche Ogah ,frowned at the ugly development. He maintained that the election materials and personnel arrived very late .Azubuike who spoke to the Southeast breaking news, after casting his election at his home town Umuomenta Nbawsi ,said ,”  the election has been generally peaceful except the malfunctioning of the card readers. A number of units complained of malfunctioning of the card readers to the extent that a number of units resorted to manual accreditation. We also had cases of crisis and violence .Even the supervisor of this ward disappeared after sharing the materials. He appealed to INEC to step up their game. ” it is our considered opinion that INEC should improve, we were told that the card readers are now upgraded ,but we can not observe it ” Addressing newsmen ,the former Accountant General of the state, Sir Gabriel Onyedilefu  expressed confidence that the People’s Democratic Party would record a landslide victory in the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly Polls. Speaking with newsmen shortly after performing his civic right, Sir Onyedilefu expressed satisfaction in the system but lamented the late arrival of voting materials which he urged the INEC to brace up so that such irregularities would not be seen in the March polls. So far, he said the exercise was peaceful with the voters in their large turnout, eager to vote. As a way of advice, Onyedilefu charged the INEC to guide against lateness,security challenges so that their next election would be peaceful as well. Another  PDP stalwart and former commissioner in Abia state, Elder Chinagorum Nwankpa called for the immediate upgrade of the card readers if the forth coming gubernatorial and State House Assembly Elections would be credible. Nwankpa who made this disclosure in his Ehina Uhuru Osokwa ward 5 polling unit in Isialangwa South LGA of the state said with the rate at which the card readers are failing in the area, if nothing is done urgently about it, it could disenfranchise voters in the area. According to him, the card reading machine is suppose to last for two days and beyond but the poll officers can not boast of six hours usage. He said the INEC should also guide against lateness in the despatch of electoral materials and other acts that could stimulate violence in the forth coming elections. While applauding the conduct of the voters in the area, Nwankpa enjoined the people of Isialangwa South to maintain the same level of calmness come March 9, so that the process in the area can be credible. Addressing the newsmen ,the principal secretary to the governor of Abia state, Sir Emma Nwabuko who spoke from his home town ,Umuafai in Ndume , ,said despite the inconveniences caused by late arrival of election materials and INEC personnel, and malfunctioning of the card readers, that the people eventually voted for their choice candidates.He expressed optimism that PDP will emerged victorious even in  the Governorship election. In this same development, a former governorship aspirant ,and Abia state stakeholder, Ochiagha Regan Ufomadu who spoke to the Daily Champion at his home town ,umuogele Ntigha Isialangwa  ,noted that at the beginning of the process, the people were worried because of the late arrival of election materials,adding that due to their resilience, they were able to vote candidates of their choice. The Abia state commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs, Hon.Christopher Enweremadu ,while addressing the newsmen at his home town Ngwa Ukwu ,called on INEC to make provisions for people who are on essential services to vote ,saying it is not proper to disfranchise them.He said people like the pressmen ,the police ,the army ,the INEC personnel and all those on essential services. Generally in Abia state, the presidential and National Assembly elections had been conducted with different outcomes .Some people are at the jubilation side while others are at the crying side . The facts remain that the outcome of the elections are full of surprises The outcome of presidential election in Abia state is that PDP gave Atiku  219698 votes and the Abia APC gave president Buhari 85058 votes . Coming to the Abia state central senatorial zone ,Senator T.A.Orji of PDP was able to secure his reelection by defeated his opponents with 55461 votes ,against the second person ,Senator Nkechi Nwogu of APC who scored 29860 votes and the third position ,Hon .Chidi Ajaegbu of APGA ,pulled 19534 votes in the race. Declaring the result for the Abia state central senatorial position, the Returning Officer ,professor Yusuf Omeh ,said the election was keenly contested and that Senator T.A Orji met all the conditions and requirements and came out the winner. In the Ikwuano Umuahia federal constituency, the Returning officer ,professor Georginia ,declared Hon .Sam Onuigbo  of PDP ,the winner .She disclosed that Sam Onuigbo scored a total of 30669 votes to defeat his opponents and the second closest candidate was Hon Ikechukwu Apugo of APC ,who came second with a total votes of 23279 votes and third position was Uba MacDonald who pulled 10312 votes . Moving down the Abia state South Senatorial zone ,Senator Abaribe of PDP is likely to emerge the winner. Then to Abia North senatorial zone ,the former governor  of the state  Dr .Orji Uzor  kalu has emerged, however ,the incumbent Senator MAO Ohuabunwa ,disagree with that ,saying the Returning officer never declared Orji Kalu the winner. He revealed that at the close of the election, he scored 20801 votes ,while Dr .Orji Uzor Kalu scored 31201 votes  ,saying there were 38526 votes that were cancelled /rejected from the declared votes ,adding that the difference in vote between him and the highest scorer is 10400 votes ,which according to him is much lower than the cancelled votes of 38526 . Addressing the newsmen at Umuahia,Senator MAO Ohuabunwa said he wants INEC to fix a date for new polls to be taken in order complete the election. In Abia state Bende Federal constituency, Hon .Benjamin Kalu of the All progressive Congress ,defeated his closest rivalry Dr Chima Anyaso of the Peoples Democratic party ,while in the same vein, in Umunneochi Isukwuato Federal constituency, the incumbent House Member ,Hon Nkeiru Onyejiocha of the APC defeated Hon .Jude Udeachara of the PDP ,being his closest rivalry.

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