Cross River by-elections: APC, PDP ready for tribunal

premier online- The Cross River chapters  of APC and PDP have openly asserted  their readiness to approach yet-to-be constituted Election Petitions Tribunal following the outcome of the Akpabuyo state Assembly and Ogoja/Yala federal constituency by-elections held on Saturday.

Eventhough the exercise was concluded on Sunday , the last has not been heard about the well contested by-elections held in three LGAs of the state. While the candidate of APC for Ogoja/Yala by-election, Chief Jude Ngaji, won with a total votes of 22,778, the PDP’s candidate, Mr. Mike Usibe was  second with 20, 590 votes. At Akpabuyo state constituency, PDP candidate, Dr Ekeng Edet Effiom, polled 5, 866 votes to defeat APC’s candidate, Ekpo Bassey, who scored 5, 363 votes. Both parties have however  congratulated their candidates for their victory  at the polls, but rejected the outcomes in the constituencies they lost, pointing out some irregularities in the process and vowing to do the needful in the coming days ahead.

In a statement issued on Sunday  by the publicity secretary of APC, Mr. Erasmus Ekpang,  he said the party totally rejects the election results of the Akpabuyo state constituency bye-election based on series of irregularities. Ekpang urged their teeming supporters and the electorate in Akpabuyo to remain calm.            His words :” The party seeks to employ all relevant legal means to reclaim our stolen mandate. “We wish to condemn in strong terms the acts of shenanigans perpetrated by the PDP in Akpabuyo in the name of election, as barbaric, uncivilized and undemocratic.  “This show of shame by PDP can best be described as an injurious rape on our nascent democracy as the whole process was grossly marred by outright violence, vote buying, intimidation of innocent voters and all forms of rigging by the main opposition Party and we hereby reject the election results completely. “We have enough evidence at our disposal on how the PDP vented havoc on innocent electorate and shooting on target some APC members,” he said. According to him, the victory of Chief Jude Ogbeche Ngaji on the polls is “a reflection of the people’s yearning for  good representation and we are fully convinced that he will deliver full dividends of democracy to the people.”

Congratulating Hon Ekeng, who won the Akpabuyo state Constituency election in a statement, PDP chairman, Vena Ikem, said since 1999 the state has never witnessed an election like this in the northern Senatorial district, an indication that PDP is a party to beat. Ikem said it is pathetic to watch state actors deploy so much force against PDP and voters who had voted in the past for the same APC people who were hitherto in PDP. Ikem said : “The PDP in the state, under my watch, will never indulge in planning of elections that include nefarious activities, recruitment of cultists and using brigandage by state actors to achieve what in the end will be a pyrrhic Victory! “Those who do will have their recompense. We won the legitimate vote and we will fight to correct the records, no matter how long it takes. We will fight the fight on principle.  “I bring my Christian Faith into politics. We will fight the just cause. Be rest assured that we will leave no stone unturned in search of the victory we won in the field by your legislative votes. “Our party members should  hold their heads high for you fought a good fight and you won the votes and the hearts and minds of your people,” he said.

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