Ebonyi State governor, Martin Elechi said the presidential and National Assembly elections conducted throughout Nigeria on March 28 was the worst in recent times, judging by the quantum of violence, destruction and bitterness observed and expressed in the state.
Elechi, who opened up on the outcome of the elections in a live broadcast at Ebonyi Broadcast Corporation, EBBC, on Tuesday evening, noted that the election generated more fears than satisfaction in many states of the country.
The governor, who narrated how the people of the state turned out en masse to exercise their franchise, observed that the people’s hope turned to be false as there were tales of woes in all the 13 local government areas of the state, orchestrated by the inadequacies of the electoral body.
According Elechi, “In Ndufu Alike Ward of Ikwo LGA, shooting was effected in order to scare away potential voters, thereby facilitating the snatching of election materials and falsification of election results in favour of the political party that organised the mayhem. The snatching of ballot boxes and papers, the falsification of votes and non-declaration of results in some centres were obvious departures from the provisions of the Electoral Act.
“More worrisome still was the excessive use of violence, resulting in the infliction of bodily wounds such as battering of human heads and limbs, as was the case in Izzi and Onicha LGAs, and outright shooting and killing of an innocent person in Ameka Ward in Ezza South LGA; even Ohaukwu LGA was not spared.
“I have chosen to make this account a summary presentation as the detail of it is sufficient to move the entire state into tears. It suffices to say that the level of violence that accompanied the elections, irregularities that were displayed and the brazenness and impunity with which the illegalities were committed have painted us and left us as a lawless society.
“The tragedy becomes a matter of greater concern when it is realised that the organisers and perpetrators of these crimes are people who have had the best opportunities in terms of public service in Ebonyi State, and stand out as the avowed elite and opinion leaders of the present generation.”
Elechi noted that election is far from being the extortion by force of the people’s mandate, adding that it was the failure of elite class to manifest the true attribute of election and to guide the followership that has reduced those involved in these dastardly acts to mere barbarians.
The governor, who observed that though his frequent appeal for calmness and tolerance in the face of provocations was widely seen in some quarters as a sign of weakness, said such insinuation was worthless, maintaining that his peaceful disposition was born out of the full realisation that a threat to peace is an invitation to anarchy.
Ahead of Saturday’s governorship/Houses of Assembly elections, Elechi therefore warned that those involved in electoral malpractices should desist from it, noting that Ebonyi people had been badly provoked by electoral irregularities beginning from party primaries of November 2014 and were now prepared to protect their votes and would not tolerate any further falsification of election result.
“All those who have perfected plans to bring in mercenaries into Ebonyi State to camouflage either as soldiers, policemen or youth corpers in April 11 election should know that there will be no hiding place for them and their sponsors or anybody else for that matter in the event of the expected social unrest.”
He further warned INEC staff who would be used at polling stations on the election day to act according to rules in order not to incur the wrath of the voters.

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