Ebonyi2023: PDP, APGA candidates reject results, head to court
Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
The first and second runners up in the just- concluded Ebonyi State governorship election have reacted to the declaration of Mr Francis Nwifuru as winner and Governor-elect.
The Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) had on Monday declared Nwifurụ, candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) winner of the election.
The PDP candidate, Ifeanyi Odii came second while the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Bernard Odoh came third.
The duo in separate statements appealed for calm from their supporters promising to do all within the law to get the results upturned.
Odii rejects results, heads to court
Mr Odii in a statement rejected the outcome of the polls as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday.
He described the outcome of the exercise as “broad-day robbery of the peoples mandate,” in the state.
He said:“I thank you for your show of support in coming out to vote en-masse in the March 18 gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections. I remain grateful for your goodwill and belief in our mission to recover Ebonyi state.
“I am saddened by the numerous reports of loss of lives, damage to property and injury to voters and citizens recorded all over the state.
“The Saturday elections have once again exposed the magnitude of our security and governance challenges in Ebonyi State, which has become a standard under the APC-led regime.
“Undemocratic forces seeking to capture the soul of our society are afraid to face the people in a free and fair election, so they use violence and intimidation to impose their agenda. We cannot allow this unfolding pattern of ‘governance by violence’ to become our new reality.
“I am a man of peace, and violence is not associated with my personality. Events might not be going the way we would like them to, but we must remain calm and look for solutions within the law. We cannot emulate the tactics of the APC regime.
“Though victory may be delayed, it cannot be denied. The people’s mandate remains our mission. We will not be deterred. The Promise of Possibility remains alive and strong. By the grace of God, the will of the people shall prevail.”
I am still reviewing results-Odoh
The APGA candidate, Bernard Odoh, a Professor of Geophysics, said he is reviewing the result of the exercise with a view to take appropriate action.
He alleged that the result of the election as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which saw the Speaker of the state House of Assembly and governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) the winner of the poll, did not reflect the wishes of the electorate as expressed in the ballot.
Odoh, former Secretary to the State Government while reacting to the result declared by INEC, said “as we take a look at the outcome of the elections we can appreciate that the desire of Ebonyians to elect a credible and people-friendly government is not in doubt.
He noted that the process has been far from credible, and has not, in any form, reflected the wishes of the vast majority of Ebonyi People as demonstrated in the ballot.
“Consequently, we shall review the entire results and processes as released by INEC to help us take the most appropriate and possible action(s).
“As we undertake the comprehensive review of these results, I wish to plead with our supporters and party faithfuls to remain calm, committed and peaceful.
“For us, nothing shall be exchanged for the peace of Ebonyi State. Be rest assured that your drive to see a better Ebonyi State which was clearly demonstrated at the ballot box shall not be in vain”, he said.