[GUBER POLL] EKERE MEETS COLLATION OFFICERS, SUPERVISORY PRESIDING OFFICERS, OTHERS
In his desperation to ensure he wins the March 9, governorship election in Akwa Ibom at all cost, fresh facts have emerged that Nsima Ekere, governorship candidate of the APC, has contracted agents to arrange a meeting of all Collation Officers with him.
Ekere, it was learnt adopted this method following the people’s rejection of the APC in the state as was seen in last week Presidential and National Assembly elections where APC candidates were roundly defeated by the PDP.
Ekere who is miffed that his Godfather, Senator Godswill Akpabio lost in the election following the refusal of the State Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC, Mr. Mike Igini to be bribed opted to deal directly with the Collation Officers.
Our source informed that a University of Calabar Lecturer of Akwa Ibom extraction, who is sympathetic to Nsima Ekere’s ambition was on Thursday seen in the Town Campus of the University of Uyo, meeting and collecting phone numbers of Lecturers who were appointed Collation Officers for onward transmission to Ekere.
It was gathered that Ekere plan, according to our source is to put a call to individual Collation officer where he would then offer mouth watering inducements of N1.5million naira each. Ekere, it was gathered would not meet the Collation Officers in persons but would send an agent to deliver the goods after concluding discussions and negotiations.
Apart from the Collation Officers, Ekere is also said to be targeting Supervisory Presiding Officers and Presiding Officers of each of the 329 wards and over 2000 polling units respectively.
It was also gathered that Ekere also directed his media team to send bulk sms to people indicating that the National Assembly elections where PDP won all the ten federal constituency and Senatorial seats had been cancelled. The essence of this, it was learnt was to discourage voters from coming out to vote with the mind that even if they vote it would be cancelled. Another source said Ekere was also working on the option of using militant groups from outside the state to disrupt elections where Collation Officers would not accede to manipulating results. It was gathered that, Ekere in his thinking is targeting about 25 Collation Officers across the state and to use militants to disrupt elections in at least 6 local government Areas where INEC could possibly cancel and call for a rerun on a separate date.
A source said that the desperation shows that without rigging, APC leadership in the state knows that it can never win in any free contest against governor Udom Emmanuel who has done much to endear electorate to himself.
It was not clear as at press time if Mike Mike Igini’s led INEC would use the Collation Officers he used during the National Assembly elections in the Governorship and House of Assembly elections on March 9.