The political hyenas and jackals are fighting back. They are roaring and baring fangs ahead of March 15, 2023. Having been stunned during the February 25th national assembly election by Clement Jimbo whom they underated, they are set to play dirty just to salvage their oversized ego which has now been bruised. There is no pretence about it. They don’t care a hoot about how shameful the script is.

“What is giving young Jimbo the guts to challenge the status quo? We must teach him a bitter political lesson on March 15,” they whisper in the inner recesses of their strategy room of heinous political iniquities.

After getting much stick in the wake of the February 25th Presidential/ National Assembly elections and the March 18th Governorship/House of Assembly elections in Akwa Ibom State, one would have thought that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would use the supplementary polls as an avenue for self-redemption.
Well, the reverse is the case as the electoral commission is literally attempting to force a dangerous concoction down the throats of constituents of Abak – Etim Ekpo-Ika Federal Constituency in Akwa Ibom State.

After being slammed with a visa ban by the United States Government on grounds of “his criminal involvements during elections” and being labelled as a compromised and partial umpire by opposition parties in Akwa Ibom State, Dr Cyril Omorogbe, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, seems not perturbed.
He has stubbornly stuck to his guns.

On March 15, 2023, Cyril Omorogbe intends to rob Mr Clement Jimbo, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Abak – Etim Ekpo – Ika Federal Constituency.
I boldly say that the supplementary election billed to hold in 25 polling units in the constituency, if not properly monitored, shall pan out as one of the most fraudulent electoral exercises in Nigeria’s history.

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I came to this conclusion after a thorough independent analysis of the situation. It breaks my heart as a law-abiding citizen that Omorogbe and his cohorts have gone this low.
This isn’t only about Clement Jimbo; it is also about insultingly telling the masses pointblank that their votes and will matter not.

Without much dilly-dallying, I wish to explain. At the conclusion of voting in the House of Representatives poll, Clement Jimbo of the APC won with a margin of 2926 after polling 21,627 votes.
The incumbent Reps member Aniekan Umanah of the PDP had 18,665, Owoideghe Okon of the YPP had 7957 while Imoh George of the LP had 3769. As an accredited election observer, I can state here that Jimbo won despite rife antics such as intimidation of voters and buying of votes deployed against him.

INEC did not however declare him as winner despite a comfortable lead of nearly 3000 votes.
INEC has now announced that a supplementary election will hold in 25 polling units.

Strangely, in 4 out of the 25 polling units, election was held without any infractions, results signed by agents of political parties including PDP agents, results announced by INEC and uploaded on the commission’s results viewing portal.
The 4 units are Primary School, Oku Abak, Abak Urban III, Abak LGA; Village Square, Ikot Onomo, Odoro 1, Ika LGA;
Nto Ukpong Ntia, Odoro 1, Ika LGA; and Primary School, Nto Edet, Etim Ekpo LGA. Jimbo won in those units.

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Furthermore, of the 25 listed polling units, Form EC40G (Record of Election not held/Cancelled at Polling Unit Level) was filled and uploaded on the results viewing portal (iRev) in only 14 polling units documenting the reasons why election did not take place or was cancelled in the said 14 units.

In 4 polling units, Secondary School, Etok Uruk Eshiet, Etim Ekpo III, Etim Ekpo LGA; Village Hall, Etok Uruk Eshiet, Etim Ekpo III, Etim Ekpo LGA; Village Hall, Ikot Nkim, Utu Clan, Etim Ekpo III, Etim Ekpo LGA; and Primary School, Obio Nung Achat, Etim Ekpo VII, Etim Ekpo LGA,
results were uploaded, and till this moment, no reason (no matter how flimsy) has been given why election was declared inconclusive.
Neither Form EC8A (II) nor EC40G were
uploaded on the IReV in these units.

From the foregoing, INEC has grossly violated Section 24 (3) of the Electoral Act 2022 which unequivocally demands that “where a date has been appointed for the holding of an election, and there is reason to believe that there is or has been substantial disruption of election in a polling unit or constituency or it is impossible to continue with the election occasioned by threat to peace and security of electoral officials and materials, the Commission shall suspend the election and appoint
another date for the continuation of the election or the process.”

On this, no reason for the supplementary election in most of the 25 listed polling units was highlighted by INEC.
In the four units were election was held, results announced and uploaded on the IREV, INEC also failed to explain why they have been listed alongside other polling units for the supplementary polls.

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I don’t want to go into allegations of plans to compromise BVAS and deployment of well armed fake soldiers and police officers during the forthcoming supplementary election. I cannot verify the claim as factual.
All I can attest to, is the fact that INEC has violated the Electoral Act and its own Regulations, Guidelines and Manual for Elections.

An excerpt from Chinua Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart’ reads: Let us not reason like cowards,” said Okonkwo, “If a man comes into my hut and defecates on the floor, what do I do? Do I shut my eyes?”
Omorogbe has to be stopped.
The constituency must not clap for Omorogbe in his resolute mission to literally litter that federal constituency with the stinking excreta of electoral thievery. Such effrontery must be thoroughly resisted by the electorates.

For APC, this is your chance.
Shelve your needless internal fight and go toe to toe with Omorogbe and his gang. Manpower and resources must be mobilized. For Jimbo’s sake and for the preservation of our democracy, the needful must be done.

Clement Jimbo mustn’t be robbed.
Jimbo needs help. He is being bullied and threatened. Never-do-well politicians who feel that political power is their birthright are on his neck. He braved the storm on February 25th. This time, the political hyenas and jackals have had reinforcements. They are warming up for the fateful day.

The collective wish of the constituents must however prevail.

©By Ofonime Honesty