Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Less than one week after Governor Okezie Ikpeazu congratulated Dr Alex Otti of the Labour Party on his emergence as the governor-elect, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Abia State, has vowed to challenge Otti’s victory at the election petition tribunal.
PDP also vowed to challenge the victory of Labour Party house of assembly members-elect.
The decision was contained in a press statement issued by the Acting Publicity Secretary of PDP/Vice Chairman, Abia North, Elder Abraham Amah.
According to Amah, the decision to challenge Otti’s victory was taken after a review of the results of the election by the enlarged State Executive Working Committee of the party Tuesday in Umuahia.
It read in part: “The Abia PDP State Working Committee, SWC and the enlarged State Executive Committee, SEC met today and reviewed the results after collecting all the materials used in the conduct of the just concluded governorship and state house of assembly elections and decided to go to court to challenge the results of the Abia guber election, especially in six local government areas where the BIVAS machines were not used.”
It further read: “The decision is coming on the heels of the Labour Party taking PDP house of assembly members-elect to court despite the honest and wise advise and appeal of the Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, that those that have been declared winners of the election including the governor-elect, Alex Otti should be spared the burden of litigation which only serves to distract public officers from performing their duties and responsibilities.”
Abia PDP said it was shocked to note that at a time when it was making arrangements for a seamless and peaceful transition for the new government, it is the same Labour Party that was declared the winner that is trying to torpedo the process.
The statement said the legal department of the Abia PDP “will release the details of its petitions in the next 24 hours and head to the Election Petition Tribunal to challenge the declaration of Alex Otti of as the winner of the March 18, 2023 governorship election.”