The Abia State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to accept the controversial gubernatorial results from Obingwa Local Government Area and declare the winner of the 2023 Abia State Governorship election.
Chairman of the party, Rt Hon Asiforo Okere in a statement, argued that there was no case of invasion of INEC office in the LGA as was stated by INEC in its press release. The party also expressed disappointment that the electoral empire decided to suspend the collation of results and cautioned it to desist from announcing a biased result with the aim of asking its candidate to ‘go to court’.
It therefore urged INEC to accept the results, complete the collation and computing, and declare a winner.
Part of the statement, made available to Jungle-Journalist.Com via electronic mail reads:
“The Abia State Chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wishes to express her disappointment and consternation with the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to review the collation of Obingwa LGA result which has already passed through unit, ward and Local government collation processes, ostensibly because INEC “office in Obingwa Local Government Area was invaded by thugs yesterday Sunday 19th, March 2023 and our officials held hostage in relation to the collation of results from the Local Government Area”, according to a statement credited to Barr Festus Okoye.
“It is important to note the following:
1. There were also reports of INEC officials allegedly being held hostage in Ohafia LGA, Umuahia South and Umuahia North, yet INEC accepted results from those LGAs.
2. It is on record that Obingwa is the only LGA where polling agents insisted on full compliance with the INEC’s stated guideline of announcement of results at unit, and collation at wards so that polling agents can have copies prior to submission to State collation office.
3. We are not aware of any report by security agencies in the state, including Nigerian Police Force if the Department of State Services (DSS), indicating violence in Obingwa LGA before, during and after the election of March 18th, 2023.
4. Our party, and indeed others, have seriously complained about results that were changed at INEC office Umuahia, contrary to INEC procedures, with particular reference to Unuahia North, Umuahia South, Osisioma, Aba North, Aba South and Arochukwu without any action taken by INEC.
5. We suspect strongly that this so called review is another grand design to subvert the 2022 electoral guidelines, as published by INEC in our state given that in the case of Presidential elections, PDP and other parties made similar calls for review without acceptance by INEC that simply asked them to “go to court”.
We therefore call on INEC to immediately accept and announce Obingwa LGA result as collated from units through the wards, using the same guideline and rules they applied during 2023 presidential election.”