Mascot Uzor Kalu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the just concluded Aba North/South Federal Constituency bye-election Abia State has conceded defeat saying his party is not prepared to challenge the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Candidate Chimaobi Ebisike in court.
Mascot Kalu insisted that Aba people were robbed of the opportunity of effective representation.
“We were winning in more than 400 polling units and they kept using thugs to harass the INEC officials and scare our voters. Our voters ran for their lives. In a city with over 497,000 voting strength, less than 15,000 votes were recorded in the entire election.
“I commend the INEC and security agents who were overwhelmed and I congratulate them for their services and the risk they took to protect the citizens.
“I also thank the National Chairman of the Caretaker Extraordinary Committee, His Excellency, Gov.Mai Mala Buni, Aba North and South Party Chairmen, and all our party faithful for their support in the election.
“Even though we have enough evidence to reclaim our mandate, we won’t be going to the court. This is to allow the declared winner to concentrate and provide good representation and infrastructure to the good people of Aba.
“Once again I thank the Aba people for coming out en masse to vote for the APC and I congratulate the winner, Chimaobi Ebisike and the PDP, not because they won but because it’s a gentleman to do so.”
While decrying the level of thuggery that pervaded the election, the former Chief of Staff called on party faithful to remain calm
“While the opposition wanted the election at all cost, we chose life over bloodshed and therefore won lives and lost the polls. To us, that was a greater victory.
“The level of thuggery, violence, and rigging that occurred in the election calls for a deeper review of our electoral laws. Every country is peculiar to it’s people, all Nigerians should support the electoral laws that is being amended as it would assist us in getting our democracy strengthened. The electoral laws as it is renders the security agencies with arms weak in the face of violence at the polls and therefore needs a revisit. Granted that the armless police should be inside the polling units, the armed should be within fifty meters away from the units.
“Our opponents flooded the city with thugs numbering over 20, 000. Traders were threatened with text messages to keep away or lose their lives.
“My campaign officers and our Party agents were kidnapped, even the Resident Electoral Commission (REC), Prof Joseph Iloh was manhandled by thugs at the Aba polytechnics.
“We campaigned vigorously and Aba people were expectant of improvement from what late Ossy Prestige of blessed memory did. My only concern is that Aba people lost. They lost a quality representation and chance to have added infrastructures in Aba.”
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