The Coalition for Clean Polls (CCP) has rejected the conduct of the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections in Southern parts of Taraba State due to what it called massive irregularities and intimidation of voters.
The group said widespread cases of ballot box snatching and stuffing characterized the elections in Donga, Wukari, Takum and Ussa Local Governments, adding that large-scale violence was unleashed on voters and INEC officials. CCP’s State Coordinator Daniel Onche, in a statement, pointed out that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must remain unbiased by cancelling elections in all the polling units where Card Readers were not used. “ The INEC Electoral Officer for Takum Local Government was seen and captured moving from polling units to polling units dropping already thumb printed ballot papers and hundreds of PVCs to Presiding Officers during the election. “Also INEC ad-hoc staff in Sale Vyenku PU008, Hospital Ward in Wukari Local Government were beaten and molested by thugs loyal to the PDP who forced them to hand over election materials to identified PDP chieftains.” The group added that a member of the Taraba State House of Assembly representing also led thugs to polling units in Dogo, Tongov, and Anannun in Asibiti Ward to seize ballot boxes and load them with already thumb printed ballot papers. “There was massive multiple accreditation in connivance with Presiding Officers who accredited hundreds of PVC by proxy and issued ballot papers to thugs who thumb printed for the PDP in PU 007 Tikari Ward, Takum Local Government, also some PDP thugs instigated the capsizing of a boat conveying election results from Dampar Ward in Ibi local government. “One of the ingredients of democracy is popular participation but yesterday, we saw the tyranny of the PDP as it unleashed terror on majority of voters in the Southern Zone of Taraba State, thereby scaring them away from the voting points and denying them the rights to exercise their franchise. ” More examples abounds in Ussa, Takum Local Governments among others, where ballot box snatching and stuffing with already thumb-printed fake ballots were the order of the day. These cases must not go unchecked and we call on the concerned authorities to ensure justice is done to all and sundry. “We therefore call on INEC to cancel the irregularities-marred exercises in the Southern Zone and reschedule another ones for the law abiding people of the affected areas. This, we believe is justice and fairness to all,” Onche added.