Enugu LP Rejects PDP’s Mbah Victory, Says It’s ‘Rape Of Democracy’

Enugu LP Rejects PDP’s Mbah Victory, Says It’s ‘Rape Of Democracy’

LP Spokesperson, Okonkwo, accuses PDP of robbing the mandate of Enugu people

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Enugu State Chapter of the Labour Party has rejected the declaration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Barr Peter Mbah, as the winner of the 18th March 2023, governorship election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Wednesday, 22nd March, declared Peter Mbah of the PDP as the winner of the last Saturday’s gubernatorial poll in the southeastern state.

According to the state Returning Officer for the election, Prof Maduebibisi Ofo-Iwe, who announced the final results, Mbah polled 160,895 votes, while his closest rivals, Chijioke Edeoga of the Labour Party (LP) scored 157,552.

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Reacting to the declaration, LP Enugu State chapter in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Barr Onuora Odo, alleged that there was widespread rigging, intimidation of voters and manipulation of results, particularly in Nkanu East Local Government Area of the state where Mbah comes from.

The party further alleged that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) was not used for accreditation and uploading of election results from polling units in the area to the INEC Result Viewing portal.

The party also claimed that it observed that there are “monumental disparities between the number of registered voters and the total number of votes”, and raised the alarm about it, but INEC, which it accused of compromise, went ahead and declared the result, disregarding the provisions of the Electoral Act.

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“Enugu State Chapter of Labour Party hereby rejects in its entirety the result of the Governorship elections that took place on the 18th of March, 2023 as it was marred by widespread and wholesale rigging, intimidation of voters, doctoring, mutilation and manipulation of the results, particularly the result of Nkanu East.

“It’s on record that the process of accreditation and use of BVAS was not followed in some of the pooling booths, especially Nkanu East.

“It’s also on record that in the course of the collation of results, the results of Nkanu East showed monumental disparities between the number of registered voters and the total number of votes, but the obviously compromised Inec decided to disregard the provisions of the Electoral Act and went ahead to declare the conspicuously padded results despite complaints from the opposition parties.

“This was the reason they deliberately delayed the announcement of the result to pave way for further manipulations,” part of the statement read.

The party said that the final results collated and declared by INEC on Wednesday “was heavily doctored and does not reflect the wishes of ndi Enugu State.”

It, therefore, said that as a party poised to deepen the root of democracy in the country, it would not fold arms and allow what was declared to stand, adding that the outcome will be challenged in court.

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“In view of the foregoing developments, we are, by this media release, registering our dissatisfaction over the electoral irregularities and malfeasances activated and actuated by heavy financial inducements.

“Let it be known that our great party is poised to deepen the root of democracy in Nigeria and cannot fold our arms and allow this level of the electoral heist to go unchallenged.

“In due course, the position of the party will be made known as we have started assembling our facts together to do the needful.

“Surely, this is a rape of democracy,” the party stated.

Also reacting to the election outcome, one of the Labour Party spokespersons, Barr Kenneth Okonkwo, said it shows that the entire people of Enugu State have been robbed of their mandate by the PDP.

Okonkwo accused the INEC Returning Officer for the election of being a coward for allowing himself to be allegedly intimidated into announcing allegedly rigged results.

He claimed that LP won the election and charged the Returning Officer to declare Chijioke Edoga as the governor-elect.

“Returning Officer should immediately declare Chijioke Edeoga as Governor because he won the election. LP won all other elections, including the governorship in Enugu, and should not be denied. Whoever knows him should encourage him to do the right thing,” Okonkwo tweeted on Thursday morning.

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Former Minister of Education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, described the election as a “massive mess”.

She accused the state governor, Rt Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and INEC officials of conniving to allegedly scuttle the will of the people in favour of the PDP.

“It is dishonest gain in the sight of God to steal the mandate of the people and force the wrong “something-elect” on them. It will not stand,” Ezekwesili stated.


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