Saturday , 25 May 2024

INEC officials colluding with Gov Emmanuel, Akpabio alleges

Former Akwa Ibom Governor Senator Godswill Akpabio has alleged some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were colluding with Governor Udom Emmanuel to compromise the forthcoming elections.

He accused some of the INEC officials of being not completely independent, alleging they have been compromised by Governor Emmanuel.

Akpabio told newsmen in Abuja the governor has deployed huge sums to entice voters and electoral officials.

The former governor alleged Emmanuel has no single project to show and has consistently told the people that there is no money in the state, even after collecting refunds spent to construct federal roads by his government.

He, however, expressed confidence President Muhammadu Buhari will emerge victorious in Saturday’s rescheduled presidential elections.

The former Senate Minority Leader said: “You know that INEC is an Independent body but some of its officials are not totally Independent.

“In some states, we have noticed some unholy alliances with the government in power in those states.

“For example, in a place like Akwa Ibom, we have seen the body language of the government, which clearly shows that they will not be able to conduct free and fair elections, giving all the parties, particularly the APC, a level playing field.

“This is very easy for you to see and from the body language of people they have recruited to run the affairs, including the ad hoc staff and other support staff for the election.

“This can be seen from the body language and the kind of things that the trainees are being told. What the National Chairman observes about opposition against APC does exist.”

He went on: “There are two things happening in my state. One is a lot of fake news coming from the opposition and secondly, is massive deployment of funds to buy people.

“James Hardley Chase said in one of his books that fear is the key that opens the wallet of the rich.

“He told the people that there was no money to do project and so, there is nothing on the ground in the state.

“They have not been able to commission a single project. All the big me that come to my state, they take the churches to pray.

“When former President Obasanjo came, they took him to church to pray but when they go to other states, they commission projects but nothing to commission in my state.

“So, now that people are clamouring for change, money is now flowing all over the state. Fear opens the wallet of the rich that is what is happening to the opposition in my state.

“You can only rig election in a place where you are popular. Today, the APC is all over Akwa Ibom state.

“80-90 percent of the people are APC. So, when you go to rig election and you don’t succeed, you bring anarchy.”

On the chances of Buhari, he said: “Nigerians know the difference between apples and oranges. The reality is that this President has done very well considering the fact he took us out of recession.

“He met many projects on ground and is completing them such as the railway lines. He has invested in massive infrastructure never seen before.

“I have been a governor and I know that federal budget usually contain 70 and sometimes 80 percent of recurrent expenditure and sometimes, what is left is less than 20 percent for capital projects.

“But this President has been able to block the loopholes in the system and free more money for developmental purposes.

“The TSA is a major innovation and as you know, some ministries were operating more than 50 accounts.

“Today, we have been able to mobilise those funds into one account and over 30 percent of the budget now goes for capital projects. Nigerians are clamouring for infrastructural change and better educational facilities.

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