APC denies alleged connivance with INEC

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The Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress has denied the allegation that it connived with the Independent National Electoral Commission to rig the September 28 governorship election.

The state chairman of the party, Anselm Ojezua, disclosed this during an interview with our correspondent in Benin on Monday.

The Peoples Democratic Party had accused the ruling party of allegedly rigging the election in collaboration with INEC.

It had also alleged massive inducement of voters by the ruling party during the exercise across the 192 wards.

But Ojezua explained that the opposition party had no evidence to prove its claim as most of the top officials of the election umpire were appointed during the PDP administration at the federal level.

He said, “Why will there be a connivance? Where is the evidence of such a connivance? I hope‎ you know that these persons they are complaining of were, first of all, appointed by the PDP and as of the time they appointed them, they knew their antecedents.

“They were the same people who were in office when the Bayelsa election was conducted and the PDP won. They were the same people who conducted elections in Rivers. In spite of the scandalous activities that took place there, we had a situation where the PDP took the day.

“The same people were in office when Buhari lost elections years ago. So what are they talking about?.”

The party chairman also disagreed with the PDP that most of the cancelled votes belonged to the party (PDP).

“I do not agree. But let us assume that they are correct. The total void votes is 30,000. Let me even say we concede of it (void votes) to them. Does it change the result? It will not. So, it is a mute point,” he added.

According to him, the call for the cancellation of the entire exercise was not justifiable as the number of void votes were not substantial.

Ojezua explained, “When you talk about cancellation, the problems must be widespread. There must be substantial non-compliance‎, not isolated cases.

“In an election that recorded over 600,000 votes, 30,000 (votes) are affected – less than five per cent. How does that become substantial? You know the rules about conclusive and inconclusive (elections).

“The only way an election can be inconclusive is when it adds up at a point where the potential votes are more than the margin between the winner and the next loser. In this case, it is a far cry.”

PUNCH


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