At a press conference in Onitsha, Anambra state, the vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi, accused the Independent National Electoral Commission of disenfranchising over eight million eligible voters in the South-East during the general elections, ensuring that they did not participate fully.
He said that out of the 10 million registered voters in the zone, only about 20 per cent were able to cast their votes.
What he said:
“You will recall that on election day, I said the process was clumsy and we also had a major problem with malfunctioning card readers. Most people couldn’t vote as a result.
“When over 4,000 card readers got burnt, it became clear that something was wrong somewhere and the Independent National Electoral Commission could neither save the situation nor allow people to vote manually.
“But in some other parts of the country, people were allowed to vote manually and it was accepted by the electoral body.
“How can you tell me that states like Yobe and Borno produced more voters than Anambra and Ebonyi states put together?
“The two states have been at war. I wonder how they got card readers that were working so well, despite the war situation in which they found themselves.”
Bottom Line: It is easy to dismiss Obi’s claims as the cries of a sore loser, but anyone who followed Saturday’s elections must have noted how it seemed that most of the problematic issues experienced during the polls occurred in the South.
That is why the election, it appears, would now be taken to the courts to have the final say. Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate, said this morning that he will challenge the results because the process was not free and fair.