Crisis at INEC Collation Centre as Opposition Agents Protest Gov’s Lead in Abia

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Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia

Collation of results in the governorship election in Abia State ran into stormy waters as opposition parties disrupted the process at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) state office, citing “gross falsification of figures in favour of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu”.

Pandemonium broke out after the announcement of results from four local governments with the governor leading in three councils and the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Mr. Uche Ogah, winning in one.

Immediately the result of Umunneochi Local Government was declared with APC candidate receiving just five votes, all the agents of opposition parties jumped up denouncing the figures as “fraudulent”.

They staged a walkout forcing the returning officer, Prof Benjamin Ozurumba, the Vice-Chancelor University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), to halt proceedings and call for 10 minutes break, ostensibly to allow tempers to cool down.

When collation resumed after the break, the opposition agents stormed the table, insisting that the process must stop, shouting that the figures being reeled out were “unacceptable”.

It was a shouting match as opposition party agents squared up with the ruling PDP agents each defending its position.

However, the intervention of the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Gabriel Elaigwu, brought the situation under control. Collation has resumed with the correction of the figures allotted to APC in Umunneochi council.

But all the opposition party agents have left the collation venue, vowing they won’t have anything to do with the “charade”.