By Ifeoma Aka
Enugu – Sen. Ayogu Eze’s chief spokesman, Mr Okey Ezirigwe, says the March 9, Enugu State Governorship election result is “phantom’’, noting that the figures churned out by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC are “oven-baked”.
Ezirigwe alleged that the fabricated figures flew in the face of the very low turnout of voters in the entire state, resulting from the mistreatment of their candidate by INEC.
“It will be recalled that a few days before the election, INEC published the final list of governorship candidates for the Saturday, March 9, 2019 Governorship and House of Assembly elections on its website, without the names of the APC Governorship and Deputy Governorship candidates for Enugu State, a situation the electoral body strangely explained resulted from a court order.
“On March 7, the Court of Appeal cleared whatever legal obstruction the INEC invoked, declaring Sen. Ayogu Eze, in a unanimous decision, the validly nominated governorship candidate of APC, Enugu state.
“The Appeal Court judgment compelling INEC to immediately restore their candidate on the candidates’ list, was served on INEC the same day which it acknowledged but refused to effect, up to the moment polls closed on Saturday.
“This was in clear violation and contempt of the court order, leading to unlawful exclusion of their validly nominated candidates.
“This development occasioned massive voter apathy leading to the lowest voter turnout ever recorded in Enugu State,” Ezirigwe said in a statement.
“We make bold to state that it will be a miracle if as many as 100,000 persons participated in the Saturday’s election in the state, if the card reader is queried.
“The absence of voters gave the People’s Democratic Party, PDP and those collaborating with it the ample opportunity to manufacture figures, which they have now put out as election results.
“Our supporters observed that while the card reader was supposed to have been programmed to stop functioning at 2 p.m., many polling centers remained open up to as late as 5 p.m. with massive thumb-printing going on, using multiple fingers and objects to mark the ballot papers.”
The spokesman urged the people of Enugu State, all institutions and people of Nigeria not to only reject the forged figures described as governorship election results from an election that never took place in the state but to denounce the said election as a farce.
Ezirigwe said that the stark evidence of a high depressed voter turnout that indicated about 65% drop on the general turnout during the Feb. 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections challenges the legitimacy of the electoral process and undermines the freakish and off-beat victory claimed by the PDP.
“The government in Enugu State clearly refused to work for the people, only having its mind fixated on winning a second term through fowl means, including the suffocation of opposition through sponsored intrigues, deception, manipulation of the people and collusion with unseen forces, to influence the outcome of the election.
“We are also witnesses to how desperation, the same government provocatively sent some goons to eliminate our principal in the guise of fake election observers who at the same time adorned our opponents fez caps to his country home,” he alleged.
“While we condemn these ridiculous actions of our opponent and the obviously biased umpire, we continue to thank and appreciate our dutiful and very committed supporters who have remained resolute in the struggle to berth the leadership Enugu State truly deserves.
“We appreciate their sacrifices and reassure them that PDP’s false `victory’ is built on quick sand and will surely collapse in due course, as the lifespan of falsehood is truly short.’’