Burnt card readers caused election failure in Anambra – Sen. Umeh

The Senator representing Anambra Central senatorial zone, Senator Victor Umeh has said that the two container load of card readers which went up in flame inside the compound of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in the state was responsible for the poor conduct of last Saturday’s election.

Umeh, who spoke to journalists in his country home, Aguluzoigbo in Anaocha local government area of the state, said the promise by INEC that it was going to source card readers from other states to replace the burnt one was merely a ruse.

He described the presidential and national assembly election as the shame of a nation, saying that while his opponent used the security to pressure INEC officers to jettison the use of card readers in his area, the officials insisted on the use of the card readers.

“The election was marred by irregularities and violence. INEC was simply not in control of the process. They could not provide enough card readers for the election because the ones originally meant for the conduct of election in Anambra was burnt.

“The promise by INEC that they were going to replace the burnt card readers from those of others states was a ruse. They had limited card readers, people turned up in my area and could not vote, but in the area of my opponent, INEC staff were forced to resort to manual accreditation, and that was how they were able to return large numbers of votes in their areas of strength.”

Umeh also faulted reports by INEC that because its original result sheets were destroyed by thugs in Obosi area, that it was going to use the duplicate copies belonging to the police to announce the result.

He said, “INEC must declare result with original result sheet, that is what the law said. How can they use duplicate result given to police to declare the election?

“Accepting that it lost the original result sheet is even a confirmation that the process was not fair, and if INEC accepted that it lost the original document, then they should cancel the exercise and conduct another election,” Umeh said.