Francis Ezeonu, resident electoral officer (REC) of Imo state, has described politicians as the greatest threat to democracy.
Speaking during the collation of the governorship election, Ezeonu said there were several hiccups which resulted in “unnecessary delay” of final result.
“Politicians are the greatest threat to democracy,” he said narrating how some supervising presiding officers (SPOs) from the Federal University of Technology (FUTO), Owerri, were “hijacked by politicians”.
He said other SPOs were “strong-armed” to sell their appointments letters to politicians.
The REC said all SPOs found culpable were dismissed while new ones were appointed from Federal University of Agriculture, Umudike, in a bid to organise successful collation at ward level.
He noted that there were several cases of violence and malpractice across different local government areas (LGAs) in the state.
Citing examples, Ezeonu said violence was recorded at Ngor Okpuala, Ideato north and Ideato south LGA, where Rochas Okorocha, the state governor, is from.
He disclosed that the electoral officers of Ideato north and south were held hostage.
Based on the reports, the REC said several results had been cancelled from polling units in Nkwerre LGA, where Uche Nwosu, Okorocha’s son-in-law, is from.
He said results from Isiala Mbano LGA were also cancelled as hoodlums attacked adhoc staff and destroyed electoral materials.
Ezeonu, however, confirmed that some fake policemen who had been hired to “disrupt” the election had been arrested.
Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was declared winner of the election.