Election in C'River was a sham, we want cancellation, rerun - APC

Cross River State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC has described the recently conducted National and state Assemblies and the governorship elections in the state as sham that cannot stand the test of time.

State Chairman of the party, Sir John Ochala and the National Vice Chairman South South, Ntufam Hilliard Eta in a joint briefing yesterday in Calabar said that the party rejected the poll results.

The APC asked the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to cancel the elections and order a rerun in the state.

The party maintained that the contest was not just between APC and the PDP but INEC, security agencies and thugs allegedly organized by Gov. Ben Ayade.

"The National Assembly and Governorship/State Assembly elections organized by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Cross River State on Saturday February 23 and Saturday March 9, 2019, respectively, were, at its best, a sham that cannot stand the test of time.

The contest was not just between the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates on one hand and the candidates of other parties that participated in the exercise on the other hand but between the APC candidates on one hand and the ruling party in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party, the INEC, the Security forces and Gov Ben Ayade's organized thugs on the other".

APC added that "The Etim John-led faction of the party were the ones INEC collected list of party agents from instead of collecting from the authentic party exco led by Sir John Ochala. These anti-party agents (Etim John and co) colluded with PDP to subvert the will of the people.

There is nothing more devastating and compromising than the attitude of the state INEC REC Dr. Frankland Briyai who on the eve of the Presidential/National Assembly elections on February 22, addressed the press and unilaterally announced the delisting of our candidates purportedly on the orders of a High Court whereas the matter was already in the domain of the Appeal Court from where a stay of execution order was secured. INEC indeed, did the bidding of Gov. Ben Ayade".

APC further alleged that twelve out of the 18 INEC local government Returning Officers were from Obudu, Gov. Ayade local government area.

"For instance, at the just concluded Governorship/State Assembly Elections, about (12) twelve out of the eighteen (18) Local Government Returning Officers were from Obudu, the home Local Government Area of Governor Ben Ayade. This is outside the fact that all the Returning Officers are and were card carrying members of the PDP. Party agents who complained about this were rebuffed and this accounted for why the state Collation agent of the party walked out of the collation Centre.

At first, INEC Headquarters delayed taking the decision about getting our candidates' names back on the candidates' list and even when it finally did, the decision only got communicated to Calabar in the afternoon of the Election Day. The State INEC REC called our governorship candidate Sen. John Owan Enoh at about 12.30pm on Satuday, the Election Day to 'congratulate' him that he had just received the list containing his name.

The implication of the above was huge. Majority of voters who even turned out to vote were unsure of his candidacy. Several lost interest. Party Agents were sent home on the false premise that Sen. Owan Enoh was not on the ballot.

The election which was meant to be by cards readers, was massively manipulated as INEC resorted to use discretion to exploit the law in  favour  of the PDP. Only votes from supposed APC strongholds were subjected to card readers; otherwise, why would votes from Obudu, amongst other Local Government Areas ever be allowed to stand?", the statement reads in part.

Its alleged that "There was massive rigging, thump-printing, intimidation of voters, vote buying, with the aid of INEC and security agents. Many of our supporters were killed in several locations across the state. There were ballot box snatching, while voters in APC dominated areas were prevented from voting.

In fact, there was no election in Cross River as voting was inconclusive in most polling units across the length and breadth of the state. But results were entered in Favour of the PDP. It was a calculated charade. The bottomline is that our candidates were excluded from the election as their names were not even on the ballot in the first place.

In the governorship and National Assembly elections, several of the results declared by the Returning Officers were ordinarily supposed to be results of inconclusive elections. Yet, this didn't matter to a highly biased and compromised electoral umpire.

Based on the general atmosphere of exclusion of our candidates, intimidation, manipulation and hijacking of materials, we hereby reject the result declared by INEC and call for the cancellation of the elections in Cross River State in its entirety".
Politics 3283147929720235691

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  1. It is shameful to read this from the so-called APC State Chairman and the South South Vice Chairman. What did they do when Honourable Pastor Usani Usani was sponsoring a strong faction in the State? What did they do when the State INEC REC was busy changing list of INEC Ad hoc Staff?Where were they when those who were originally invited by INEC for training went through the rigorous exercise without making the list to work during the elections? Their loyalists raised alarm but what did they do? Is Sir John Ochalla insinuating that he didn't know that the party had a faction that worked blatantly against her success? Do they want to go and wash their dirty linens in the public or make themselves laughing stock?
    Senator Professor Ben Ayade's victory at the just concluded polls was unanimous and it expressed the will of Cross Riverians. How did they expect to win election when even their candidates were working against themselves? APC candidates openly campaigned against the party and what did they do? Instead of supporting the party, candidates rather dished out monies to PDP supporters against their party. What shame is worst than that? It is like buying cartridges for an enemy armed with a superior gun. How can you win such a battle?
    APC was not ready for elections in Cross River but most of us held on despite appeals from our brothers and sisters in PDP that APC was a sham. Before APC ask for cancellation and a re-run of elections in the State, let the leadership of the party go back and put their house in order. In my humble opinion, APC was not supposed to participate in the last elections in Cross River State. APC was pariah and a laughing stock as well and didn't deserve inclusion in the elections by INEC. I should rather advise that Senator Owan Enoh take a cue from Nsima Ekere, APC Governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom State who congratulated Ubong Emmanuel Udom on his landslide victory at the polls in the state and congratulate Senator Professor Ben Ayade on his victory.
    Was it a lie that Governor Ayade won Senator Enoh in Etung where he hails from? Was it a lie that Senator Professor Ayade won in other Local Government Areas of the State. Was it a lie that INEC preferred Senator Ben to Senator Owan. Are they looking for cheap recognition by the party. I feel pained that APC leaders should say anything injurious to the Cross River people. Let them go and congratulate the Governor and see how they can work as a team to move the State to a NEXT LEVEL. They owe us explanation if they act otherwise.

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