There was renewed call Thursday for the immediate redeployment of the Imo State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Dr. Gabriel Ada by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other stakeholders in the state before the governorship rerun election scheduled for April 25.
The REC has also come under fire for insisting that registered voters who have not collected their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) in the areas where the governorship rerun election will hold in the state, despite the expiration of the deadline for the collection of PVC nationwide.
Ada had during a press briefing with journalists, refused to disclose the number of PVC distributed in the 200 Polling Units where the rescheduled election will hold, as well as the number of registered voters in the area.
Reacting to the REC’s alleged partisan role, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Rochas Campaign Organization, called for his immediate redeployment ahead of the rerun election to ensure a free and fair polls.
The Director General of the Campaign Organization, Barrister Ihekwumere Alaribe, said that “we were shocked to learn that the REC had announced that the collection of PVC is still ongoing in the state, even after the expiration of the exercise nationwide. This will amount to shifting the goal post in the middle of the game.”
According to him, “we have applied for the number of registered voters and the list of the distribution of PVC in the affected areas but the REC had refused to disclose the documents because of his partisan stand”.
Justifying the call for Ada’s immediate redeployment, Alaribe, alleged that he was selective in the cancellation of the results of the governorship election in the favour of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), adding that the APC and the entire people of the state do no longer have confidence in him to supervise the rerun election.
“We have discovered that the REC inflated the number of voters in the areas where election did not hold, to justify the rerun election. He is an interested party and should not be allowed to supervise the election. As a former Speaker of the Cross River House of Assembly under the PDP we doubt his integrity and neutrality in this matter.
“We are calling on the Chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega to immediately recall Ada from Imo State before the scheduled rerun to ensure a free and fair election. Because if not for his partisan role, we won’t be talking about rerun in an election we clearly won. We have discovered that he is a card carrying member of the PDP and must to not be allowed to preside over the election”.
Also knocking the REC for his controversial positions, an APC Chieftain, Chief Romanus Egbuladike, blamed him for the massive rigging and other irregularities that marred the governorship election.
Egbuladike, who is from Oru East Local Government Area, which has the highest number of areas where the rerun election will hold, said that elections were held in the six wards where INEC cancelled to pave way for a supplementary election.
“We were shocked that INEC said that election did not hold in six wards in Oru East because we have the results from the booth. I think what happened was because did people did not allow INEC to execute their plan of rigging the election in Oru East in favour of the PDP so they decided to cancel six wards to declare the election inconclusive but whatever they are planning will be resisted.”