Protesting women, believed to be members of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, dressed in black attires, Tuesday evening, staged a peaceful march in Umuahia, Abia State capital, against alleged falsification of the March 28 National Assembly, NASS, elections in the state in favour of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Protesting under the aegis of Abia Women and Good Governance, the women claimed that the results of the election, which they said was peacefully conducted in the state, “were rigged by PDP in connivance with some officials of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.”
They said next Saturday, INEC must ensure their votes counted, saying the results of the National Assembly elections in the state were not the true reflection of the people’s votes.
Carrying placards, they took the protest to INEC state headquarters to register their grievances.
Some of the placards read “We will speak again,” “this time, you will kill us first before you steal our votes again,” “APGA won all,” among others.
The leader of the group, Ms Jennifer Ukaobasi, said: “We freely voted for the candidates of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, for the Senate and House of Representatives, but we were surprised that our votes did not count.
“We are tired with the status quo; we want a positive change in Abia and we voted for APGA. We want to tell INEC that enough is enough.”
According to 75-year-old Madam Patience Eleleme, who described herself as the leader of Grassroots Women, “we stood under the scorching sun to vote for APGA, but INEC declared PDP candidate winners.
“Our grouse is that we voted for APGA but the ruling PDP government rigged the results in connivance with some unscrupulous INEC officials. What we are requesting for is that our votes count.”
Addressing the protesters, Abia State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Professor Selina Oko, expressed concern over series of protests that had so far trailed the results of the polls.
Oko said she was disturbed because the protests portrayed her as having not done well, in spite of her efforts to ensure the exercise was credible.
Oko, however, urged the women to assist her with documented evidence of the alleged fraud, including the person(s) involved, even INEC officials, to enable her take the matter to the commission’s headquarters in Abuja
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