The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia State has challenged the results of the March 18 governorship election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) pronounced Alex Otti of the Labour Party (LP) the winner of the governorship election, according to news reports.
Otti received 175,467 votes, defeating Okey Ahiwe of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who received 88,529 votes, according to the Commission.
But, in a statement sent to the media on Wednesday, the APC argued that the election result did not reflect the real votes cast or the preferences of Abians.
The Abia APC stated that the poll results being circulated and entangled in debate are unsustainable, and it rejected the election outcome in its entirety.
The opposition party also termed the governorship race in Abia in 2023 as the worst example of competitive election manipulation between the PDP and the Labour Party.
Dr Kingsley Ononogbu (state APC chairman), Chief Chidi Avajah (State Secretary), and Chief Uche Ogboso signed the statement (Director-General of Ikechi Emenike Campaign Organisation).
It reads: “Abia State All Progressives Congress (APC) rejects in its entirety the results of the Abia gubernatorial election.
“The 2023 Governorship Election in Abia is, therefore, nothing but a charade. Both the manipulators and the beneficiaries of this juggling of figures know that the results churned out have no resemblance to the reality on the ground.
“Instead of giving Abians accurate election results reflecting the choice they had made with their ballots, they have been served a concoction of allocated scores laced with shameless shenanigans.
“We are also aware that the orchestrated alterations of the poll results and allocation of votes were purposely contrived against our party, the APC.
“The manipulation of the poll results was principally designed by its traducers to humiliate the party and diminish its high octave popularity and acceptability across Abia State.
“The main purpose of juggling and manipulation of votes was carried out just to sustain the contrived fallacy that the party is not firmly rooted in Abia.”
According to the Abia APC, it is unimaginable that the LP will receive 27,000 votes in Umuahia North Local Government while the APC will receive 7,225 votes.
According to the party, the election result is a very juvenile exercise in vote distribution rigged against the APC.
It added: “Another curious example is that in the entire Ugwunagbo Local Government Area, APC was allocated 375 votes, while in Osisioma 504 votes were allocated to APC despite the hard work of the former State Chairman, Hon Donatus Nwankpa, who worked tirelessly with others to make our Party a household name.
“Are they saying that APC has no members in these Local Government Areas? Even the number of very active APC EXCO members from wards to local governments are far more than the allocated votes,” said Abia APC.
“The same scenario of vote allocation played out across the 17 Local Government Areas of the State, all to the advantage of the predetermined beneficiaries, Labour Party and PDP.
“All imaginable malpractices were employed to achieve their desired nefarious results. Abians have been treated to the worst form of competitive election rigging between PDP and Labour Party”.
The Abia APC urged INEC to conduct a simultaneous assessment of vote numbers in localities such as Obingwa, Aba North, Aba South, and Umuahia North, among others, where there was obvious over-voting.
The party stated that it is reviewing the governorship election results in Abia critically and carefully, and that it will take necessary measures in due course.
It also urged all of its members and supporters to be calm as the party’s leadership responds to the crisis.