From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and Chinedu Onyeizu, Labour Party candidate in last Saturday’s National Assembly election, have rejected the result of Abia South senatorial zone as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and called for its nullification.
of the result of last Saturday’s elections in Abia South District in which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe winner.
INEC had in the result released by the Returning Officer for the election, Prof Georgina Ugwuanyi, Abaribe scored 49,693 to win the poll, followed by LP’s Chinedu Onyeizu who scored 43,903 to come second and Gov. Ikpeazu scored 28,422 votes to clinch the third position.
Speaking through his agent at the collation centre in Aba, Charles Esonu, Ikpeazu noted that INEC had after the election, announced it was inconclusive and wondered why the electoral umpire would afterwards declare the result when elections were not conducted in108 polling units in Obingwa, Aba South and Abia North council areas.
Ikpeazu, dismissing the declaration as a charade and brazen display of partiality, expressed shock that INEC which had earlier confirmed that elections were not conducted in108 polling units in Obingwa, Aba South and Abia North council areas, still declared a winner despite protests from party agents.
Describing INEC’s action as irrational, biased and undemocratic, Ikpeazu demands an urgent nullification of the declaration of a winner in an inconclusive election and the immediate rescheduling of election in the 108 polling units.
“Nigeria’s problem has been the weakness of our national institutions as manifestly demonstrated by INEC in this election. We call on INEC to be fair and just to all political parties and their candidates, nullify the declaration and reschedule election in the 108 polling units. This is the only way we can grow our democracy,” he said.
Ikpeazu noted that the 108 polling units where the election did not hold have a cumulative voter population of over 200, 000 which is more than the votes scored by the parties.
He stated that over 50,000 supporters of the PDP could not cast their votes due to the non-provision and late arrival of electoral materials in most of the polling units in the six local government areas of the constituency.
Also rejecting the result, LP candidate, Chinedu Onyeizu said he rejected the declaration of Senator Abaribe as the winner of the election in its totality.
Onyeizu described as shocking how Prof Georgina Ugwuanyi, the Returning Officer who earlier declared the election inconclusive because she said that about 108 units had irregularities will go ahead later to announce Abaribe as the winner without telling the world how she sorted out those irregularities.
He equally said that despite the irregularities INEC talked about in those polling units, the figures given to Abaribe were wrong.
Onyeizu said that he was leading Abaribe with 10,000 votes before the election was declared inclusive.
“It is shocking, magical and remains an electoral mystery how INEC reduced my scores to 43,903 votes and magnified Abaribe’s who should be trailing Onyeizu to 49,693 votes.
“We’re talking about over 500,000 registered voters. They claimed he was leading me with 5000 which is not true. They miscalculated. I was leading with 10,000 votes.
“Let’s assume he was even leading with what they claimed, who said it cannot be upturned from those polling units considering the number of registered voters there. So, I don’t accept this result because it’s not a true reflection of the votes cast”.
He vowed to contest the results to the end, stressing that his opposition has shown that he was afraid of the rerun, knowing he would be defeated.
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