Electorates, observers in Ajaokuta fingers Kogi REC over alleged plot to rig election

Electorates in Ajaokuta Local Government Area of Kogi State have accused the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Hale Gabriel Longpet of an alleged plot to manipulate the National Assembly election.

DAILY POST recalls that the National Assembly elections for some parts of Ajaokuta Local Government were rescheduled for today (Sunday) when they could not hold on Saturday.

It was further gathered that during the conduct of the presidential election on Saturday, INEC officials failed to bring election materials for the national assembly election to three polling units in Ganaja.

According to DAILY POST findings, the three polling units have over 11,000 registered voters which is the largest ward in Kogi State.

The affected polling units are Ganaja Open Space by magistrate Court Ganaja Village unit (O41), Simbabi I (040)and Simbabi II (039) under the Ganaja Township ward.

As of 2pm on Sunday, INEC officials are yet to arrive at the polling centres despite the presence of security agencies such as Nigeria Police, Nigeria Army, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and ICPC.

Speaking to our Correspondent on Sunday, some of the electorates said they have been on the ground as early as 6am but are still stranded.

A resident identified as Abaya Emmanuel noted that, this was the same thing that happened during the Presidential election held on Saturday.

Abaya said INEC officials deliberately frustrated voters in an attempt to deny them their legitimate right to exercise their franchise.

“They deliberately chose to frustrate us. Can u imagine, these INEC officials came to our various polling units late yesterday? They came up with different excuses. They first said the BVAS is not working, later they gave excuses of inks, and many more. The REC and others have been compromised. He wants to rig this election. This will not work. It is 1:40pm now, no INEC official or material is here”.

Another voter Fatima told DAILY POST that, the Kogi State REC should voluntarily resign for lacking the competence to conduct a free and fair election.

“We are observing foul play now. They came up with this tactic yesterday, now they are applying it today. The Kogi INEC officials have been bribed. We won’t take it,” he said.

Other electorates who spoke to our correspondent said they won’t allow any individual to sabotage their efforts in electing leaders of their choice.

An election observer with the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room Comrade Idris Miliki said the New REC has shown a lack of sincerity in the discharge of his duties.

Miliki lamented that the REC failed to address electorates after disenfranchising them.

“As a result of this failure, we are calling for the removal of the Kogi State Resident Electoral Commissioner Dr Hale Gabriel Longpet. The current REC is not competent and should be removed”.

When contacted, the Kogi State Resident Electoral Commissioner Dr Hale Gabriel Longpet said a driver was sent to Abuja to bring the materials and is still on his way.

As of the time of filing this report, which is 2.09pm, election materials or INEC officials have not arrived at the three polling units.

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