By Douglas Okoro
Abakaliki – The All Progressives Congress, (APC) in Ebonyi has rejected outcome of the Saturday, March 9, governorship election held in the state.
The party described as “shambolic” the processes and the outcome of the governorship and House of Assembly election in the state.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Gov. Dave Umahi of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), winner of the governorship election announced candidates of PDP winners of the 24 state constituencies.
The party’s position was made known by its governorship candidate Sen. Sonni Ogbuoji, in a statement it issued in Enugu and made available to newsmen by Mr Ikenna Emewu, Director of Ogbuoji Campaign Directorate in Abakaliki on Wednesday.
Ogbuoji expressed sadness over alleged killings, maiming, hurting, kidnapping and brutalising of citizens during the electoral process.
He said that the action was perpetrated by those that brutishly foisted their selfish interest on the people.
The governorship candidate alleged that Umahi, who was re-elected at the polls, had all along been a mole in the PDP and was now perfecting moves to defect to the APC before May 29, a situation he said would be resisted.
Ogbuoji described the March 9, governorship and state House of Assembly elections in Ebonyi as a mockery of democracy.
The statement which read in part: “We have viewed and assessed the developments of the governorship and House of Assembly elections of our dear state and the experience the people of the state went through in the name of democracy that was actually mocked.
“We were not in a hurry to make our position known until we have got all the facts, consulted widely and taken accounts and discoveries from our members, candidates and supporters.
“As a result, we have decided to make some facts public and clarify impressions about what happened that fateful day, the state and its democracy history can never forget.
“We can simply describe it as a day of reckoning when two things happened; the people of the state by coercion decided against a happy and assured future; the people were chained to a post for the interest of the few that called the ‘bullying’ shots.
“We, therefore, reject in its entirety, the shambolic exercise, the processes that led to it and the result or outcome of the polls.
Ogbuoji denied alleged insinuation that he was planted as a ‘mole’ in the party by Umahi stressing that he came into the Ebonyi governorship race to liberate the people from the shackles of mis-rule and maladministration.
“One of the major issues that need to be explained is that there was never a time I, Sen. Sonni Ogbuoji ran the election with any intent to deceive, front for or be a clone to or operate in the shadows of anyone that ran the race.
“From my conscience, I stepped into the race for very candid reasons and I said it very often that it was unthinkable that I was a mole for somebody also contesting in the same state for the same position or any position for that matter.
“For the records, I spent and invested my resources from time to personal convenience, not sparing anything and there is no person, no matter how unreasonable that accepts to suffer himself and risk the roads and the air to feather another person’s interest.
“I want to disabuse the minds of the members of the party, my supporters and all Ebonyians that I ran the race from my mind and gave the best I can afford.
“I never set out or worked to deceive or betray anyone or acted in skewed conscience.
“Let all that hear me, including the party members, leaders and supporters have it clear in their minds that whatever went wrong or I didn’t handle according to your expectations was partly from human inadequacies.
“Again, I remind ‘Ebonyians’ that as a two-term senator, I went to the senate twice all through the endorsement of the people and the party and never by any individual.
“I still can’t reckon whatever anybody could have paid me or funded my election with that is more than what I have on my own.
“If any person or some people paid me for the race, I would have peacefully utilized the money in the comfort of my home and family rather than risk my life and took the pressure of campaign for months.
“I made it clear to all from the beginning that running from the opposition has challenges, especially vying against an incumbent that is also a candidate.
“I am also aware of those among us who desired the change we targeted to bring.
“Some worked for it but in the actual sense some worked in contrary direction and deliberately frustrated the change they claimed to belong to.”
Ogbuoji also accused INEC of alleged compromise and connivance to truncate the electoral process in Ebonyi.
“We are aware that the votes that enthroned Umahi were procured with the connivance of the system.
“I, therefore, call for consolidation and stronger bond in the party, and that no one should despair in the face of this rape on democracy.
“Consolidating a new system takes tenacity and steady effort to achieve; our great party will not relent, ” he said.