Leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bayelsa State chapter, yesterday besieged the state office of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to protest alleged irregularities in the March 28 elections.
The angry APC leaders made up of members of the party’s State Working Committee later met with the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Baritor Kpagih, at the commission’s conference hall.
INEC, however, preferred holding the meeting behind closed doors after barring journalists from taking part in the discussion.
After the meeting that lasted for two hours, chairman of APC, Mr. Tiwe Oruminighe said the party listed all the irregularities that occurred in the March 28 presidential and National Assembly elections.
He said the party was particularly bothered about allegations that security agents colluded with staff of INEC to cart away sensitive and non-sensitive electoral materials.
The APC boss said they were upset that the last elections were not properly conducted in the state.
He alleged that the procedure was heavily manipulated and compromised, stressing that APC would no longer fold its arms and watch similar irregularities to occur in the April 11 elections.
He said the next elections were crucial to the party and the people of the state, and that they would not accept any procedure below minimum standards.
Oruminighe noted that since the coming elections were grassroots based, the people should be allowed to elect their representatives without intimidation, inducements and manipulation.
Oruminighe, who said the party would take similar protest to the Department of State Security and the police, added that APC stood a better chance in the April 11 elections.
“Last elections were not properly conducted in Bayelsa State. Many irregularities took place in a lot of places in the state. One of such we came to tell INEC was security agencies connived with INEC officials to cart away electoral materials both sensitive and non-sensitive materials.
“We came to tell them that we rejected the outcomes of the elections because of irregularities. Elections are very close again and we all know very well that these are grassroots election and our people consider them as their major elections.”
He, however, commended INEC for the innovations it introduced into the electoral process.
Though Kpagih failed to comment on the outcome of the meeting, Oruminighe said the REC promised to do his best in the elections.
“They have promised us that on the part of their staff, they would do their best but that they are not in total control of security agencies,” he said.