PDP congratulates David Mark as APC disowns congratulatory message

David Mark arriving the polling unit

Nigeria’s main opposition party, PDP, has congratulated its candidate, David Mark, for winning the Benue South Senatorial rerun election.

In a statement by its spokesperson, Olisa Metuh, the PDP said Mr. Mark’s victory signalled the support it still enjoyed with Nigerians.

“It is instructive to note that the PDP had won 70 percent of all the polls conducted since May 29, 2015, a development that underlines the fact of its deep roots and popularity as a brand, irrespective of the transitory setback of the 2015 general elections,” the party said.

While the PDP congratulated Mr. Mark, the ruling All Progressives Congress has denied congratulating the former Senate President.

The APC said the twitter handle @APCNigeria, which congratulated Mr. Mark, was not an official one. The handle had been used to tweet APC messages in the past.

Mr. Mark, who has been in the Senate since democracy returned in 1999, was declared winner early Sunday morning amid protest by his main challenger, Daniel Onjeh of the APC, who demanded that the election be declared inconclusive.

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The former senate president scored 84,192 votes, leaving a margin of 12,571 votes between him and Mr. Onjeh, who garnered 71,621 votes.

A total of 29,273 votes were cancelled.

After Mr. Mark was declared winner, Mr. Onjeh’s agent, Eloyi Ogbeh, protested, saying the number of cancelled votes (29,273) was higher than the margin of win (12,571).

In its statement by its National Secretary, Mala Buni, the APC said, “The “congratulatory message” purportedly obtained from a twitter handle, “@APCNigeria” did not emanate from the party. The purported twitter message itself is not credited to any APC official.”

The ruling party said only its “National Chairman and the National Secretary officially speak for the party.”

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