Labour Party candidate in the just concluded governorship election in Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Chijioke Edoga, has vowed to challenge the outcome of the polls in court, maintaining that people of the state massively voted for him but the result was manipulated in favour of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that was declared the winner.
Candidate of the PDP, Peter Mbah, was declared winner of the election and Governor-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Edoga in his statement on Friday, which is the first since the election was concluded on Wednesday night, thanked Enugu people for their profound support for Labour Party in the state.
He recalled how the people massively voted for Labour Party during the presidential and National Assembly elections that led to impressive winnings recorded by the party in both polls.
The party apart from winning the presidential election in the state with almost 90 per cent of total votes cast, also won all the three Senatorial districts, (including Enugu North where the incumbent governor lost and Enugu East where ex-governor Chimaraoke Nnamani was also trounced). The party also clinched seven of out the eight Federal Constituencies in the state and 14 state assembly seats.
Edoga insisted that Labour Party won “convincingly” in the governorship election and that it was by the night of Saturday, 18th March, clear to all that he has been given the mandate to lead the state for the next four years but it was thwarted by a group of desperate politicians in the state who were bent on returning PDP to power.
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He said such disruption of democratic process will not be allowed to stand, disclosing that the party’s team of competent lawyers has been drafted to challenge the election outcome in court.
He said the massive support for the Labour Party was because of the people’s strong desire for positive change in the state.
“I would like to thank, from the depths of my heart, Ndi Enugu State for voting overwhelmingly for transformational change in the two elections held on February 25 and March 18, 2023, in our dear State. You stood strongly with the Labour Party. And you have continued to be in solidarity with our transformational political party to this day, despite the determination of a handful of inelegant elements to change the course of history.
“Your strong desire for change made you vote overwhelmingly for me as the Labour Party candidate in the gubernatorial election. By the night of Saturday, March 18, the result from every Local Government Area (LGA) in the State was already well known, and it was clear that I had been given the mandate to lead Enugu State in a new direction in the next four years. This mandate is a sacred trust. It is not negotiable.
“The desperation of a coterie of politicians in the State working in cahoots with a handful of compromised Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) officers to toy with the destiny of a great people cannot succeed. These persons cannot be allowed to subvert the will of millions of our people. The people’s will is supreme.
“Our team of dedicated and competent lawyers has been instructed to take the appropriate legal steps to restore the people’s mandate to me and the Labour Party.
“It took INEC a whole four days to engage in creative vote allocation before declaring the so-called result of the governorship election which the whole of Enugu State and the entire nation have rejected as one man. INEC engaged in sheer sacrilege,” Edoga stated.
He appealed to the people to remain calm as his team works to recover the mandate through legal procedure, stating that he still has confidence in the judicial system as a normal of stolen mandates have been reclaimed through the courts.
“I plead with Ndi Enugu to go about their normal business. We have great confidence in the Nigerian judiciary. The judiciary has restored stolen mandates in a number of instances and has consequently proved to be the last hope of the people. I thank Nigerians from different walks of life for their tremendous support. I will ever remain indebted to the Enugu people for their solidarity,” he added.