he Imo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof Francis Ezeonu; and governorship candidate of Reform and Advancement Party in the state, Kingdom Okere, on Friday clashed at the Independent National Electoral Commission’s office in Owerri, the state capital.
The incident led to the teargassing of Okere by the security agents attached to Prof. Ezeonu, after which they bundled out the governorship hopeful.
Our correspondent who witnessed the incident observed that trouble started when Mr. Okere opposed those the REC was issuing tags to as Reform and Advancement Party agents for Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly polls.
While Okere insisted that he wasn’t familiar with those the REC issued tags to as his party’s agents, the REC ignored him.
Dissatisfied with what the REC was doing, Okere approached him, leading to an argument.
“Mr. REC, the people you are issuing tags to are not members of my party. I have the list of people you will issue tags to, who will protect my votes,” Okere explained.
The REC replied, “Go away! I’m not dealing with governorship candidates. I only deal with party chairmen.”
Okere replied, “My party chairman is compromised. He is working with the APC governorship candidate. Use my list, unless you want to tell me that you are compromised.”
It was at this point that the security men attached to the REC came, and teargassed the governorship candidate and bundled him out of the INEC Secretariat.
The governorship candidate, who spoke with journalists outside the INEC office, threatened to commence legal action against the REC for ordering his security aides to assault him.
While calling for the immediately sacking of the REC, the governorship candidate said that his party would sue INEC for issuing tags to non members of his own party.