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Leader of the Team, Prince Celestine Ekwe who disclosed that they are a coalition of different Civil Society Organizations under the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Relations with Civil Society Organizations, however faulted the entire exercise as he said he cannot recommend the Imo LG elections to even his team.



Controversies as PDP sweeps Imo LG polls
*Presidency faults conduct
* Ohakim hails polls, swear in winners

Eze Adiuku reports from Owerri, Imo
 

Controversies have continued to trail the last August 7th 2010 local government election in Imo State as citizens, observers, journalists and opposition condemns the whole exercise as a charade.

Briefing newsmen during the declaration of the election results, Chairman of Imo State Independent Electoral Commission (ISIEC), Barr Emma Nwonye said the polls were free and fair; adding that report from Imo people is that the elections were not marred by violence. “It is practically violence-free, free and fair in our view”, the ISIEC boss declared.

He further accepted responsibility for the outcome of the elections, saying “we take credit for anything that was done well and blame for anything not done well”.

Reports by other observers including opposition parties’ candidates and members say the LG polls were marred by violence, ballot box snatching and rigging. Some of those that monitored the elections reported that there were cases of stuffing of ballot boxes by agents suspected to be “working for those in power... “

A resident of Ohaji/Egbema who spoke on condition of anonymity said; “In the whole of Ohaji/Egbema there were no elections because youths prevented ISIEC (officials) from distributing the materials. Even Speaker Opiah did not vote. We were frustrated and I wonder how someone was declared a winner in that LG”.

Speaking during the swearing in ceremony of the 27 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairmen at the Grasshoppers Stadium, Owerri, Imo State Governor Chief Ikedi Ohakim described the elections as peaceful, free and fair, adding that future elections will be built based on this LG elections.

He told the newly elected Council chairmen to work for Imo citizens as they are the people that voted them into office, adding that the chairmen are accountable to the people.

An observer group known as the Presidency Election Monitoring and Observation Team at a post election press briefing in Owerri said that the election was “free and fair without rancour” due to the zoning formula applied by the various communities.

Leader of the Team, Prince Celestine Ekwe who disclosed that they are a coalition of different Civil Society Organizations under the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Relations with Civil Society Organizations, however faulted the entire exercise as he said he cannot recommend the Imo LG elections to even his team.

What many are worried about is that the election was conducted on Saturday 7th August 2010 by Sunday 8th August, only the results of the chairmanship seats were declared by the ISIEC chairman, Nwonye who promised to release that of the 305 councillorship seats across the 27 LGs within 24 hours only for the government to swear in the so called ‘elected PDP councilors’ by 10am on Monday 9th August, 2010.

 

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