The losing People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State is calling on the electoral management body to accept the results collated from Obingwa local government in the Saturday’s governorship election.
INEC had collated and officially announced results of 16 local government areas in Abia while only one local governments — Obingwa is yet to be announced.
The opposition Labour Party is in a comfortable lead with the results so far announced.
INEC had earlier announced the suspension of collation and announcement of results, citing invasion of its office in Obingwa local government on Sunday 19th, March 2023 and hostage taking of its officials in relations to the results in the local government.
Obingwa is the local government of the outgoing governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
But the decision to suspend the collation and further announcement of results did not go down well with the PDP as it urges the electoral umpire to “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”, the party’s state chairman, Rt Hon Asiforo Okere said in a statement on Monday.
“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“, the statement read in part.
Abia PDP while saying that 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 wondered why that of Obingwa should be rejected.
“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.
“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.
“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””.