An election monitoring group, Transparency Initiatives, has accused the Minister of State Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva of alleged excessive show of desperation to win the Brass Constituency 2 State House of Assembly elections with a clear attempt to compromise the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) in the area.
According to the group, though the election is clearly between PDP candidate, Austin Adigio from Okpoama and incumbent, Timi Agala-Omubo of APC, who hails from Ewoama, the show of force by Chief Sylva and attempt to manipulate results from Okpoama and Ewoama with the INEC adhoc staff is criminal and a clear violation of the provisions of the electoral laws.
The Election Monitoring Group, Transparency Initiatives, led by Dr. Charles Otabor, while speaking on the reports received from monitors who covered Brass/Nembe Local Government Areas of the State, said though elections materials arrived the Brass 1 early and voting concluded despites threats to the PDP members, “the journalists and election observers were shocked that the Nigerian Minister of Petroleum allegedly ordered that polling result should not be announced.”
“Attempts to prompt security agencies to prevail on the Minister to do the right thing was met with rebuff. Some journalists informed us that Sylva has suddenly returned to his old ways of manipulating results of election, which has become old fashion following the new electoral law and introduction of BVAS.”
“Suspected thugs loyal to the APC were earlier seen intimidating voters with stern warning to those who might want to vote for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in his Okpoama community and neighbouring Ewoama community.”
“The Minister is alleged to have also held meetings with certain INEC officials deployed to Okpoama, which is the Constituency headquarters where the final collation and announcement would be done.The desperation of the minister might not be unconnected to the woeful outing of his party in the last Presidential and National Assembly Elections in the State.”
“The agents of the Minister are mounting pressure on INEC officials to get results from the communities making up the Constituency- Okpoama, Ewoama, Odioma and Liama in favour of his party.The Minister of Petroleum Resources needs to be reminded that the days of election manipulation and rigging is over with the new technology introduced by INEC.”