Election 2019: Imo guber collation ends in chaos as party agents engage in fisticuffs

Election 2019: Imo guber collation ends in chaos as party agents engage in fisticuffs

Collation of results from the 2019 gubernatorial election in Imo state came to an abrupt end in the early hours of Monday, March 11 as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) agent tore result sheets during the collation exercise.

The collation of results which was going on at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) collation center in Owerri, the state capital, ended abruptly following a clash between agents of leading political party agents in the state.

Trouble started when PDP agent, Barrister Uche Onyeagocha, said that the result of Ideato south local government area would not be announced.

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Onyeagocha, a former All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, alleged that the results from the local government, were written by Governor Rochas Okorocha, after all the party agents of were chased away in the area.

Other party agents, however, insisted that the result should be announced owing to the fact that they had protested when that of Aboh Mbaise local government was presented for announcment.

Francis Otunta, the state returning officer, after inquiries, then asked that the result be announced.

But the PDP returning officer rushed to the table and tore the result sheet.

In a swift retaliation, another party agent rushed to the high table and tore result sheets of other local government that had earlier been collated.

Specifically, the special adviser to Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state on electoral matters, Steve Asinobi, and his (governor’s) associate, Paschal Onwukaike, violently disrupted the collation.

Asinobi and Onwukaike, who had insisted the results should be announced also violently scattered the remaining results and threw the entire hall into confusion.

As the situation escalated, party agents, journalists, observers, electoral officials, including the returning officer, ran away from the centre.

The policemen on duty quickly arrested the two contending agents leading to the collation process to come to an abrupt end.

The Imo state PDP had earlier maintained that it's governorship candidate, Emeka Ihedioha is in a comfortable lead in the gubernatorial election held in the state on Saturday, March 9.

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Ray Emeana, state secretary of the PDP, claims that from the results collated at the various local governments by INEC offices so far, Ihedioha has won in 15 local governments out of 27.

According to Emeana, the local governments include Ideato North, Oru West, Obowo, Mbaitoli, Owerri West, Owerri North, Ikeduru, Owerri Munucipal, Ngor Okpala, Ahiazu Mbaise, Aboh Mbaise, Ezinihitte, Oguta and Orsu.

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