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The Ebonyi State chapter of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday disagreed over the Ezza North/Ishielu federal constituency rerun election billed to take place today in the different polling stations in Oriuzor ward, Ezza North local government area of the state.
Speaking with reporters on Saturday, the APGA senatorial candidate for Ebonyi central senatorial zone, Sen Emmanuel Onwe faulted the declaration of the APC senatorial candidate, Mr. Ken Eze as the winner of the election insisting that the declaration remains null and void.
Senator Onwe maintained that Oriuzor is one of the wards in the zone out of 58 wards which is the largest ward in terms of electoral value adding that the ward has about 17,000 registered voters with more than 10,500 collected PVCs.
‘The law stipulates that if the margin used in declaring and returning a person is less than the collected PVCs, the declaration cannot be made. In this case, INEC officials bribed, corrupted as they were, proceeded to make a declaration when more than 10,000 votes are still lying there to be vied for.’
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‘It is much more irrational when you consider that the APGA House of Representatives candidate was not returned on the basis that election in Oriuzor has not been concluded and a new election is going to be held in that ward on Saturday.
‘The question that arises is, what is the difference between the House of Representative election and senatorial election in the same zone? Why was the declaration and return made in one case and not in the other?’
He stated that in Ikwo LGA, ‘ballot boxes were snatched in various wards and were reported; there was overvoting in various wards which were also reported.
‘The returning officer was made aware of these infractions and he went ahead to attempt to clean the irregularities and manipulations and made a declaration and a return and that was alleged on the basis of inducement and corruption.’
Senator Onwe reassured the people of Oriuzor ward and APGA supporters in the state to continue to remain steadfast and not be deterred by the ‘manipulation of the APC’ adding that the party will emerge victorious at the governorship and house of assembly polls.
‘Everything possible would be made. Every step will be taken; every legal option will be considered. We cannot be discouraged; we are empowered, energised and ready, willing to confront the forces trying to overwhelm the electoral processes,’ he said.
However, in a swift reaction, the state APC chairman, Chief Stanley Emegha expressed the optimism that the APC would consolidate on its victories during the rerun election adding that security forces would be deployed to the area to ensure a peaceful and credible rerun.