The All Progress Grand Alliance, Social Democratic Party and the Labour Party have separately condemned the outcome of Wednesday’s Edo State governorship election, describing it as a total disregard for the popular will of the citizens.
This follows an earlier rejection of the polls by the Peoples Democratic Party, which alleged massive rigging by the ruling party.
The All Progressives Congress’ candidate, Godwin Obaseki, was declared winner of the election after polling 319,483, defeating his closest rival, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the Peoples Democratic Party, who garnered a total of 253, 173.
The national chairman of APGA, Victor Oye, while condemning the election in a statement on Friday, said the treatment meted out to his party was “contemptuous, callous and malicious.”
He expressed surprise that the 876 votes allotted to his party was deliberately done to humiliate and intimidate its members because of the massive attractions the party had among the people of Edo during preparations for the election.
Mr. Oye wondered how INEC came to 876 votes when the support for the party cut across the three political zones of the state.
He challenged INEC to produce the results collated at each polling unit and get a forensic expert to examine each of them, saying the outcome of the scrutiny would shock the world.
“The results collated by our polling agents showed that APGA garnered over 30,000 votes,” he said.
“Some fraudulent persons traded with the APGA votes to make up for their own votes in order to win the election at all costs.”
Mr. Oye, however, congratulated APGA supporters in Edo State on “their doggedness and unrelenting support”, urging them not to be fazed by the outcome of the election as it did not reflect what actually transpired.
“Remain calm, peaceful and prayerful. It will not be long before the world knows the truth. Truth is unassailable,” he advised.
He also praised his party’s candidate, Osaro Onaiwu, for “his innovative style of campaign that sent shock waves across the state, forcing the two leading parties to plot to silence him by squandering his votes and allocating a paltry 876 votes to him”.
In the same vein, SDP said the election was “messed up” by the ruling APC. It alleged that the ruling party ruined the will of the people through financial inducements and blatant manipulation of results.
The Publicity Secretary of the party, Oshobugie Bonvist, told PREMIUM TIMES that the election would have to be cancelled and fresh one conducted to rectify the malpractices of the APC in the election.
“This is not democracy at all,” he lamented. “We want the election cancelled and repeated.”
He argued that besides inducements, the APC continued to intimidate opposition party supporters and forcefully ensured results were written in their favour.
He said the party would challenge the results in court, warning that if the situation is not corrected it would be bad for democracy in the state.
The governorship candidate of the Labour Party, Amos Areloegbe, said the election was a sham, and what happened was not democratic.
He however said he had put the developments behind him and would simply continue with his life.
He also said he would not be going to court, even though he believed the election was rigged.
He wished Mr. Obaseki well, urging him to call all political stakeholders in order to work together.