The DPP candidate wants INEC to cancel the election.
The Democratic People’s Party, DPP, candidate at the Delta Central Senatorial bye-election, held on Saturday, has called for the cancellation of the result.
In a press conference on Sunday, Ede Dafinone described the election as a “complete sham” and that the electorates were “violently denied” their right to exercise their franchise.
“There was no election, as defined by our laws. The scale of impunity, assault, molestations and violence by the PDP, thugs/cultists and the supposed security agents was just unimaginable,” Mr. Dafinone said.
“The lopsided and partisan involvement of state security apparatuses in supporting the PDP and the brazen use of thugs to unleash violence and mayhem on our party members and the electorate is unprecedented.
“Thus there is now very serious concerns for the progress of our nascent democracy and diminishing hope for peace, unity and good governance of Nigeria now and in the immediate future,” he added.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, candidate in the election, Emmanuel Agwariavwodo, as winner of the election.
Mr. Agwariavwodo polled 263,024 votes to defeat the other eight contestants in an election characterised by late arrival of election materials as well as low voters’ turnout.
John Arubayi, the INEC returning officer, maintained that the exercise was “free and transparent.”
But Mr. Dafinone stated that the significant confidence achieved during the 2011 elections “due to visible improvements on the 2003 and 2007 elections was completely wiped off yesterday.”
“The PDP and the Government have yesterday sent, in no uncertain terms, a strong message that the security apparatus of this nation will foist the PDP on the nation at every cost,” said Mr. Dafinone, who came third with 29,055 votes.
“As was demonstrated yesterday in Urhobo land, security forces and the government will turn a blind eye to open violence and crimes against citizens and a section of the electorate perceived to be supporting other parties outside the PDP.”
The DPP candidate further claimed that the party’s agents were openly shot at and maimed during the election.
“As it was in 2003 and 2007, we are able to say that the days where elections are gun wars are back,” Mr. Dafinone said.
“Because INEC officials and NYSC ad hoc personnel bluntly refused to go out to conduct the election in several places, we are also able to categorically say that government, through these agencies, decided the outcome of the election in a clearly premeditated manner.
“Because security personnel openly flogged and beat up our agents and supporters everywhere without justification, we are able to say that violent bias was used as a tool to coerce our supporters to abandon polling stations.
“Because in various communities security personnel watched, allowed, participated in and supervised the hijacking of ballot boxes and other election materials by PDP thugs and government officials, we are also able to say that the so-called election was rigged with clear government approval.
“Because INEC did not release or issue out election result sheets and other sensitive election materials in most places but ‘results’ somehow managed to emerged in favour of the PDP, we are able to say that the so-called results were made to suit the PDP even before any election.
“Because few electoral materials appeared as late as 3.30PM in the few places where a few INEC officials managed to reach, we are able to say that our people were deliberately excluded from the election since accreditation was meant to end by 12.00 noon. There was just no election as defined by our laws and common sense,” he added.
Mr. Dafinone called on the party’s supporters to be calm and maintain peace “even in the face of extreme provocation.”
“We in the Democratic People’s Party do not give in or succumb to undemocratic actions which attack the political will or threaten the unity of our good people,” Mr. Dafinone said.
“We shall continue to explore all legitimate options to free our people from oppression, suppression and bad leadership. Our commitment to democracy and justice remains firm.”
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