Posted by News Express | 28 March 2021 | 450 times
The defeated candidate of the All Progressives Congress candidate in the March 27, 2021 Aba North/Aba South Federal Constituency bye-election, Mascot Uzor Kalu, has accepted the outcome of the poll, vowing not to challenge it in court, even as the victorious PDP has attributed its victory in the bye-election to hard work.
Peoples Democratic candidate, Chimaobi Ebisike, was in the early hours of today, Sunday, March 28, 2021, declared winner of the Aba North/Aba South Federal Constituency bye election with a total haul of 10,322 votes while Mascot came a distant second with a paltry 3,674 votes, a far cry from the over 47, 000 votes he was said to have garnered during the APC primary election which threw him up as the party’s candidate.
Declaring the result, a lecturer with the Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike, Ikwo (FUNAI) in Ebonyi State, Professor Fidelis Okpata, who served as the Independent National Electoral Commission’s Returning Officer for the Federal constituency bye-election, declared Ebisike as winner of the poll.
Candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Destiny Nwagwu, and the Action Alliance candidate, Okey Prestige, polled 1,554 and 199 votes respectively to place third and fourth, while the candidates of the APM and NRM scored 10 and 13 votes respectively.
In a swift reaction to the outcome of the election, the APC candidate congratulated Ebisike on his victory, urging him to provide result-oriented, quality representation for his constituents.
Mascot said in a statement he personally signed that though he has enough evidence to upturn PDP’s victory in court, he has chosen not to challenge the result at the tribunal because he was a gentleman.
He said that his decision was for the good of the constituents, and urged his supporters to also accept the INEC official result in good faith because he preferred life to bloodshed, even though the opposition was desperate. The statement reads:
“The March 27, 2021 Aba North/Aba South Federal Constituency by-election is over and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). We appeal to our members to accept the outcome of the elections in good faith while appreciating them for making the party stronger in Abia.
“While the opposition wanted the election at all cost, we chose life over bloodshed and therefore won lives and lost the polls. To us, that was a greater victory.
“The level of thuggery, violence and rigging that occurred in the election calls for a deeper review of our electoral laws. Every country is peculiar to its people; all Nigerians should support the electoral laws that is being amended as it would assist us in getting our democracy strengthened.
“The electoral laws, as it is, renders the security agencies with arms weak in the face of violence at the polls and therefore needs a revisit. Granted that the armless police should be inside the polling units, the armed should be within fifty meters away from the units.
“Our opponents flooded the city with thugs numbering over 20,000. Traders were threatened with text messages to keep away or lose their lives. My campaign officers and our Party agents were kidnapped, even the Resident Electoral Commission (REC), Prof Joseph Iloh, was manhandled by thugs at the Aba polytechnics.
“We campaigned vigorously and Aba people were expectant of improvement from what late Ossy Prestige of blessed memory did. My only concern is that Aba people lost. They lost a quality representation and chance to have added infrastructures in Aba.
“We were winning in more than 400 polling units and they kept using thugs to harass the INEC officials and scare our voters. Our voters ran for their lives. In a city with over 497,000 voting strength, less than 15,000 votes were recorded in the entire election.
“I commend the INEC and security agents who were overwhelmed and I congratulate them for their services and the risk they took to protect the citizens. I also thank the National Chairman of the Caretaker Extraordinary Committee, His Excellency, Gov. Mai Mala Buni; Aba North and South Party Chairmen and all our party faithful for their support in the election.
“Even though we have enough evidence to reclaim our mandate, we won’t be going to the court. This is to allow the declared winner to concentrate and provide good representation and infrastructure to the good people of Aba.
“Once again I thank the Aba people for coming out en masse to vote for the APC and I congratulate the winner, Chimaobi Ebisike and the PDP, not because they won but because it’s gentleman to do so.”
Meanwhile, Abia State governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has attributed PDP’s victory in last Saturday’s Aba Federal Constituency election to his administration’s hard work and the voters’ endorsement of PDP’s message of justice and equity in Aba.
The Governor added that the outcome of the election “is a clear message that the days of unproductive family oligarchies are gone in Abia State.”
The Governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sir Onyebuchi Ememanka, described the resounding victory of the PDP as a clear vindication of the hard work his administration has put in to reposition Aba.
The Governor added that the bye-election was a first-hand opportunity for the people of Aba to pass judgment on the efforts of his administration in rebuilding the broken walls of the Enyimba City and expressed gratitude to God for His grace which made this victory possible.
“For all intents and purposes, this election was more appropriately, a referendum by the people of Aba on our work in the city. Our government has invested lots of effort in providing critical infrastructure in Aba and it is heartwarming to see that, indeed, the people truly appreciate our efforts.
“It is also a clear message that our people detest injustice. The people of Aba completely endorsed our message that it was only just, fair and proper to allow the aborigines of Aba an opportunity to represent their own people for the first time in 22 years of our democracy at the National Assembly,” the Governor said.
Ikpeazu used the opportunity to congratulate the National Assembly Member-Elect, Hon. Chimaobi Ebisike, and urged him to see his victory, first, as God’s plan for his life, and then as an opportunity to offer dedicated and selfless service to his own people.
“It is a massive privilege to be called upon to serve your own people. Ebisike must appreciate the historic nature of his election and what it means for the people of Aba. He must remain humble and work with dedication in the interest of the people of Aba. He must learn from his forebears at the National Assembly, especially those who have made their people proud. He must prove that, indeed, the aborigines of Aba have all it takes to serve their fatherland well. He must also show that Aba is a home for all by carrying everyone alone along,” the Governor added.
He also congratulated the leadership and members of Abia PDP for the great unity they displayed in the election and expressed confidence that the future of PDP in the State was very bright. “This victory confirms that, indeed, PDP remains the party of choice in Abia State,” the Governor maintained.
Ikpeazu, therefore, thanked “the great people of Aba for showing confidence in his administration and assures them that he will remain relentless in the pursuit to turn around the infrastructural foundations of the Enyimba City.”
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