Protesters took over the National Assembly yesterday over the delay to conduct the re-run election for Imo North Senatorial District.
The protesters dominated by elderly people who came under the aegis of Okigwe Zonal Development Association, Abuja, OZDA, displayed various placards to press their demands.
They were led by His Royal Highness, Eze O.J. C. Anyanwu of Ehime-Mbano Local Government Area.
Vice chairman of OZDA, Chief Asomugha who spoke for the group noted that their demonstration became necessary in order to convey their displeasure at the continued breach of their right to representation at the Senate.
He said that the breach was occasioned by the failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct the Imo North Senatorial re-run election within 90 days as ordered by the Court of Appeal on December 11, 2015.
He said, “We believe that this state of affairs is orchestrated by a few disgruntled elements in and outside the state who seem to have forged unholy alliance with security agencies and INEC to leave the seat vacant since the are not confident enough to face the electorate.”
The people of Okigwe, he said, came out during the general elections of April 2015 and gave their mandate to Senator Athan Nneji Achonu who ran in the election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Chief Asomugha said that the Court of Appeal nullified the election based on the petition filed by the candidate of the Accord Party which was hinged on the exclusion of the party’s logo from the ballot paper, noting that INEC fixed February 20, 2016, as the date for re-run election.
He noted that “unfortunately, on the 19th of February, while INEC was preparing to commence the distribution of election materials from the state head office in Owerri, some hoodlums mounted a blockade at the gate of INEC in the name of protesting against the conduct of the election.”
He said that to ensure effective blockade of INEC office, the hoodlums drove and packed a truck load of chippings at the gate, thereby making it impossible for any vehicular movement in or out of the premises.
Asomugha said it was disheartening that security men at INEC, including the police, army and civil defence were unable to bring the situation under control, saying that the people of the area were concerned that the situation was a threat to democracy and the peace of Okigwe zone.
The group asked the Senate to summon the Inspector General of Police, Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Chief of Army Staff and the director general of the Department of State Services to explain why their men could not provide security for an election which should take place in only six out of the 27 local government areas of Imo State.
It also asked the Senate to summon the chairman of INEC to explain the reason for the continued delay in the conduct of the election in Imo North.

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