By Chinonso Alozie, Owerri
Aggrieved youths from Imo North Senatorial district yesterday staged a peaceful protest to the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, along Port Harcourt road in Owerri.
The protesters who were clutched with placards had inscriptions like “Please INEC don’t set bad record”, ” We are not happy what is happening to Okigwe zone”, “obey rule of law”, ” Time of substitution of candidate has elapsed.”
According to the spokesperson of the group, Mr. Chiedozie Ibekwe, said among other things that INEC, had disappointed the people of Imo North Senatorial district by declaring a political party, (All Progressives Congress) winner of the December 5, bye-election without a candidate.
They argued that in this case, that the candidate who came second should have been declared winner instead of a political party.
He said: “Our position is hinged on the fact that INEC declared a political party as winner of the election without announcing the candidate of that party.
“On Dec. 4, a Court of Appeal disqualified Sen. Ifeanyi Araraume on the grounds that he did not win APC’s primary election and on the same day, a Federal High Court disqualified Mr Frank Ibezim on the grounds of certificate forgery.
“It is an aberration to the rule of law that a party that went into the election without a bonafide candidate was declared winner of that election.
“We therefore use this peaceful protest to call on INEC to comply with the Court orders that technically disqualified the APC from the contest and declare the PDP and its candidate, Emmanuel Okewulonu as winner.”
Responding on behalf of INEC, the Public Relations Officer, PRO, Emmanuella Opara, commended them for their peaceful protest and advised them to channel their grievances to the tribunal as according to the law.