Background: The 2011 general elections, which ran through 9th, 16th and 26th, came with certain observed irregularities despite the good intentions of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). In Akwa Ibom State, we observed a glaring and flagrant disregard for the rules as contained in the Electoral Act 2010.
In some areas of the State where elections were conducted, it was observed that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was clearly in the lead. In most areas however, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in collusion with police, soldiers, the paramilitary forces of Customs and Immigrations all armed surprisingly with new rifles, arms and other sophisticated weapons, took on the mission to levy war on the people of the State and generally overawed the electorate as they snatched ballot boxes at will. There are suggestions here now, that this army of occupation, which swarmed on the State like locust, could have been fake. Whatever, they totally made the elections the most dreadful since the Nigerian civil war as they snatched ballots boxes from units to units leaving blood and tears in their trail. We pray that the snatched boxes would not be accepted by the INEC and that such results would be discountenanced and rejected.
Texture of the irregularities
The electoral frauds and irregularities include, killings, taking away result sheets from election materials by the PDP in collusion with security forces and distributing the rest, only to return and snatch the rest away at gun point later in the day, forcing people to vote for the PDP, beating people up, snatching ballot boxes and papers, shooting to intimidate voters, deliberate delay of delivery of materials and commencement of voting, refusal to deliver vital materials such as inks, pads, result sheets, using fake Youth Corpers amongst others.
Specific acts of irregularities
1. At Nnung Ukim Ikono in Uyo local government area, one Imo Okon Asuquo, a very notorious fellow reigned terror on the people right from the first election. He master-minded the snatching of ballot boxes in that unit. In the presidential elections held on the 16th of April, 2011, he created problems that led to the death of Iniobong Edem Sandy.
2. In Ward 5 Ibiono Ibom local government area of Akwa Ibom State , three ACN members were murdered on Tuesday the 26th of April, 2011 by the soldier and police forces. The village is deserted now having been invaded by armed men. Report of this has been made to the State Director of SSS Mr Minti. Other areas in Ibiono where problems occurred were units 1 and 2 of Ward 10, where they hijacked the ballot box; took it to the house of Friday Utuk, a former councilor in Ibiono Ibom to thumb print. These are names of some of those killed.
a. Udo Effiong Asuquo
b. Iboro Etim
The name of the third victim is yet to be confirmed. Bodies of the victims have been deposited at the mortuary of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital. About 18 persons died in the course of the elections, and they were ACN members who went out to vote for candidates of their choice. While sympathizing with the families of the slain souls, we call on the federal authorities to institute a probe into the matter.
3. In Ward 6 of Ibiono Ibom Local government Area, the INEC Staff, the Security Forces prevented the ACN Agents from entering the Distribution/Collation Centre. They then removed all the result sheets and handed over the remaining materials for distribution. They would return later in the evening to shoot and cart away the ballot boxes and ballots for thumb printing to correspond with already recorded results in the result sheets Form EC 8A earlier retrieved away. Therefore there were no elections in that Ward. In Mr. Ita Enang’s ward, there were no elections. Materials were hijacked with armed soldiers and policemen. Generally in Ibiono, there were no elections.
4. Rigging and alteration of results is taking place up till now, Wednesday 27th April, 2011 (12: 05 a.m.) at Itu collation center as ACN agents are not allowed into the collation center, despite reports and pleas by ACN agents to the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC). The position has not changed, as the REC seems to be unwilling to change the situation. Her response betrays her helplessness. Prominent members of the PDP have been spotted with some of these “personnel of the Nigerian Army and police.” They should be made to explain how they came about this set of personnel, including fake corps members. People were denied opportunity to vote in units 1-7 of Ward 5, Mbak Atai Itam, in Itu LGA. After shooting to scare away people including INEC staff, the ballot boxes were taken to the house of Charlie Ndamyonmong, a PDP stalwart, and thumb printed there. Though reports were made to the SSS, nothing has been done. At Mkpeti Itam in Itu local government area, election did not hold because Senator Anietie Okon a PDP stalwart allegedly came into the unit with some men who started shooting, to scare voters away in the process, and they made away with sensitive materials to unknown destination for thumb printing. In unit 7, ward 10 in Itu, PDP government police and soldiers Security outfit disrupted and carried away ballot boxes and other materials when they discovered that ACN had over 300 votes against PDP 50 votes.
5. Very impeccable sources have confirmed that the Nigerian Army in Ibagwa, Abak, succeeded in arresting some of the police personnel and soldiers used to perpetuate this heinous crime against the people of Akwa Ibom State . We commend the Nigerian Army, and call on the military authorities to follow this matter to a logical conclusion. These set of persons were recruited, using ADUMA hilux, the State Security outfit, to terrorize voters. But we commend the courage and diligence of some men of the Nigeria Army who swung into action, and rounded some of them up.
6. At Primary School Afaha Atai in Ibesikpo, Ward 1, there were sporadic shootings and snatching of ballot boxes by PDP thugs accompanied by uniformed men. The Chairman of Ibesikpo/Asutan, Bar. Chris Essien, in company of six men in army uniform shot into the air and beat up people to scare the electorates and INEC staff on duty at the Ikot Oku Akpan, Ward 1. They all ran away to avoid being killed.
7. The PDP chairman in Akwa Ibom State, Uwem Ita Etuk, obstructed voting, got the INEC officials into his SUV, and drove off with the materials and ballot boxes. Ndifreke Akpan, a PDP councilor went to Ibesikpo ward 1, unit 4, with thugs and guns. After shooting to scare people away, they made away with the ballot boxes and materials. INEC officials all ran away. Michael Sunday Ukpong, Idong Sunday Ukpong and Bassey Effiong Etok, all of them, members of the PDP attacked unit 3, ward 1 with guns, scaring away people in the process. In Ibesikpo Asutan collating centre, one Spinner, a thug from Uwem Ita Etuk, PDP State chairman, came in to beat up Prince E. O. Etim, Hon. Joe Mbang, Eddie Essen and Inyang Essien all ACN agents.
8. In Nsit Ubium, there was no election in the local government area.
9. Asang ward 4 in Nsit Ibom LGA, the following persons; Idorenyin Inyang, Uko Clement and Inyang Akpan Effiong, were shooting and intimidating voters to facilitate their snatching of ballot boxes. They beat up an ACN ward chairman in the area.
10. Asang ward 3 in Nsit Ibom was characterized by shootings and harassment of voters. The following PDP supporters were involved in this abuse. Uwan Bassey, Kufre Edem.
11. Nsit Ibom LGA had several incidence of irregularities across many centres. In Primary School, Ikot Oku Nsit, Ward 3, ballot boxes and sensitive materials were snatched from INEC staff. Voters, INEC staff and observers were chased away with machetes, and the ACN agent was nearly killed as he sustained deep machete cuts on his head. In units 1 and 2 of ward 4, Obotim in Nsit Ibom, some PDP supporters stabbed Mrs. Ekwere in the leg.
12. In Mbiaya Uruan, ward 1, there were lots of shootings by police and soldiers to scare people before snatching ballot boxes and papers.
13. In Etinan local government ward 1, units 1 and 2, there was no voting. Mr. Paul Ekpo, Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, came with police and soldiers, fired shots into the air, got his people to beat up voters, and got some persons injured in unit 7, ward 1 of Etinan LGA. Shortly after accreditation in Etinan, some soldiers and police personnel assisted the PDP to snatch ballot boxes in most voting units. Of the nine units in this ward, elections took place in only two wards, but before the completion of voting, the boxes were snatched.
14. In unit 4, ward 8 of Ini local government Area, ballot papers and original result sheets were snatched by PDP agents. An ACN agent, Mr. Jerry, was beaten up for resisting their antics. There was financial inducement and massive rigging in Unit 05, Ward 7. There was serious violence in unit 01 of Ward 10 where PDP soldiers and police hijacked materials. In unit 004 in Ward 2, there were multiple thumb printing, and the ACN agents did not sign the results.
15. In Ikono ward 6 and 7 the materials were snatched and taken to Dr. Clement Bassey PDP House of Assembly member’s residence which he later submitted to INEC office.
16. In ward 8, unit 8,9,10, 11 in Ikono, Rev. Peter Essiet snatched materials and the result was smuggled into INEC office despite earlier reports to the INEC officials. In unit 17 Sunday Ibanga (PDP Stalwart) came in from Ikot Ekpene with thugs and took away voted materials to an unknown destination and resurfaced with same at the collation centre. Mrs. Lovina Umoffa also came with soldiers from Aduma (the State Security Outfit) outfit covering the vehicle with cardboard see attached photography.
17. In Ward 3 in Ikono, Victor Udofia, the PDP candidate brought in police and soldiers to cart away vital materials in that ward. In Ward 9 units 13 and 5, PDP agents burned materials.
18. In Ikot Abasi, after the collation at INEC office, where ACN was declared winner of the election, the Electoral Officers with all INEC officials were moved by soldiers and police security forces under the auspices of Nsima Ekere’s (Nsima Ekere is the running mate of Godswill Akpabio, the State Governor) house in Ikot Uboyin, Edemeya, to falsify the results.
19. Records show that results of the yet-to-be conducted elections were already out in some quarters three days before the election was conducted. And the results announced on Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation a day after the elections were true reflections of the results in the streets three days before the elections.
20. The governor went ahead to announce a curfew for 10pm Monday 25th to 10pm Wednesday 27th by State broadcast against the Electoral Commission’s curfew of 7am to 5pm on the day of the election. Voters were seriously intimidated as a result.
23 At time of collations in Ward and Local Government Electoral Offices State wide, PDP stalwarts in connivance with INEC’s Electoral Officers and using soldiers and police prevented the ACN Collation agents from entering the centers to observe collation.
In Akwa Ibom State the police and soldiers served as thugs of PDP in the elections throughout all the units. No doubt all the results turned out in favour of the PDP.
This was the pattern in all Collation Centers State wide.
ACN agents were only allowed into the State collation center at INEC’S headquarters in Uyo capital where they had to accept a fait accompli.
The result has been the massive electoral victory awarded the PDP by the INEC Akwa Ibom State.
Given that this is an interim report, more details will be sent to you as they come. We count very much on your kind understanding of the issues herein raised, and appeal that you use your good offices to direct an inquest into the matter.
For any authentic results to be announced and accepted by the generality of the people of Akwa Ibom, we call for a forensic analysis of the ballot papers.
There is information suggesting the determination of the PDP government to destroy evidence even in the custody of the INEC. In view of the atrocities we have enumerated above, we do not put this beyond Governor Godswill Akpabio in spite of his denial to the contrary. The ACN seriously warns against such and remains vigilant to contend with the INEC at any level particularly in the State and Local Government levels should such conspiracies emerge. We trust that God will grant you the wisdom to look into this matter and bring justice to bear in the interest of the peace-loving people of the Akwa Ibom State.
Please note that we shall not accept any result that does not reflect the true wishes of Akwa Ibom people.
Hon. Fidelis Eddie
State Secretary, ACN
Akwa Ibom State
To: The Chairman
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
The President, Federal Republic of Nigeria
Chief of Defense Staff
Directorate of Military Intelligence
The Inspector General of Police
National Secretariat of the ACN
National Leader of the ACN
The American Ambassador to Nigeria
The High Commissioner, British High Commission in Nigeria
The European Union Mission in Nigeria
Election Observers/Monitors in Nigeria
Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)
Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC)
Civil Liberties Organization (CLO)
The Governor of Akwa Ibom State