The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State has protested against the violence allegedly perpetrated by a combined team of police and military personnel during the March 18 House of Assembly election in the council area.
The party alleged that security men invaded the collation centre in the council area at the time of commencement of collation with about 15 Hilux vehicles and two Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), beat up all in sight and carted away election results.
Addressing newsmen in Owerri, the state capital on Sunday, the Chairman of PDP in the council area, Sir Maxwell Nnabuihe disclosed that some of the party’s agents who were attacked are still receiving treatment in hospitals.
He wondered why the military allowed its personnel to be co-opted into election which is purely a civil duty by the Imo State government led by Senator Hope Uzodimma.
Sir Nnabuihe reminded Gov Uzodimma of the transiency of power, admonishing him to refrain from sowing seed of injustice in the state.
He said; “This is the first time the military got involved in Nigerian politics. Some of our members are in hospitals as we speak now. At the time of collation, the military and police stormed the collation centre and carted away election results and abducted our agents.
“We are here to tell the world to save our democracy. International community should intervene to save the situation. The Government of Imo State should know that nothing is permanent on earth. Let them stop sowing seed of injustice because one day it will affect them”.
Also speaking, the Director-General, Aboh Mbaise PDP Campaign Committee, Chief Mbata Albert Obinna corroborated the stance of the party chairman.
Chief Obinna, an engineer said more violence is likely to spark off if the violence and attacks perpetrated by security men on the orders of Government House, Owerri on the people during the poll are not mitigated.
He wondered why such level of violence should be visited on the council area when there was no civil war raging in the council area.
Earlier, the PDP candidate for the poll in the council area, Ezinwa Princewill Ugom Amuchie deplored the harassment and intimidation meted out to him and his party agents during the poll by security men.
Amuchie disclosed that he was mercilessly pummeled for trying to defend the votes cast for him by the electorate in Aboh Mbaise Constituency.
He described as the height of injustice for the electoral umpire to declare a person he defeated winner of the poll.
Hear him; “All the law enforcement agencies were against my party, PDP. I was pushed out in the rain and beaten like a common criminal. Even my agents were harassed. One of them is still in the hospital right now. It was only the grace of God that saved me yesterday.
“What happened yesterday is quite unimaginable. I have to speak out, our democracy is under threat. What is the essence of conducing polls when you know you will write results.
“Why not appoint people instead of saying you are organizing polls. They are doing this in connivance with INEC officials. If results are falsified, INEC reserves the right to do the right thing but sometimes they claim their hands are tied. I don’t get that. It doesn’t add up.
Amuchie urged the INEC to declare him winner of the poll because according to him at the time, the security men stormed the collation centre to cart away the materials, polling unit results showed he had won.
The candidate however served notice that he would seek legal redress if the INEC fails to do the needful.
Two of the agents of the PDP, Messrs Ben Chilaka and Chibuzor Ekenze narrated their harrowing experiences at the hands of security men during the election.
According to Chilaka, whose left hand was wrapped in a Plaster of Paris, the security men severally brutalized him for videoing with his cell phone the scene when they stormed the collation centre.
He said besides beating him up, the security men also dispossessed him of all his belongings including cell phone, ATM card, voter’s card and money.
Chilaka expressed gratitude to God for ensuring he did not die at the hands of the security men.
Another PDP agent, Chibuzor Ekenze said he was also beaten up by the security men who also whisked away the Returning Officer (RO).
He recalled that the RO had before the incident advised that the PDP fortified the collation centre with its own security men because, the ones milling around at the time were working for the state government.
Ekenze who said he was herded into a waiting Venza car by the security men who forced him out of the vehicle on their way to Owerri maintained that the RO was forced to do the bidding of the security men.
Our correspondent gathered that same convoy of security men brought the RO to the local government collation centre on Sunday morning to announce the result of the Saturday poll in the constituency