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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Onjeh rejects election results from Benue South [Full statement]

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BENUE SOUTH SENATORIAL ELECTION 2023; A SHAM ABOUT TO BE REDRESSED

I wish to condemn and reject in its entirety, the outcome of the Saturday, 25th February, 2023 Senatorial Election in Benue South in which I was the Candidate of the APC, due to non-compliance with the extant laws purportedly guiding the electoral process, amid the many irregularities that characterised the collation and declaration of the results.

From every indication, it was very clear to me that I actually won the election, but the clandestine manipulations of one of my opponents and fifth columnists within my party, in collusion with some pliable INEC Officials, ensured that the results were upturned in favour of Sen. Abba Moro of the PDP, who was eventually declared the winner.

With the signing into law of the Electoral Act 2022 by President Muhammadu Buhari, and the subsequent introduction of the Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System (B-VAS) by INEC, a fresh hope was rekindled in the Nigerian electorate that the era of vote manipulations and other electoral malpractices was gone, but little did we know that our detractors and enemies of democracy have devised and perfected new strategies for rigging elections.

For instance, we noticed that while INEC maintained the total number of accredited voters per Polling Unit in Benue South, they actually swapped the votes; thereby allocating the higher number of votes which I garnered in some Polling Units to their preferred highest bidder; and the lower votes to me.

Contrary to the copious assurances given by INEC prior to the election that the results would be declared at every Polling Unit and immediately uploaded directly to the INEC IReV Portal, the INEC ad hoc staff actually came to some of the Polling Units in Benue South without original election result sheets. Hence, rather than writing the election results in such Polling Units in the designated INEC Results Sheets, they actually wrote them on plain sheets of paper and declared them to the electorate present, who were usually thrown into wild jubilation over the supposed favourable voting outcomes in their Polling Units, only for the INEC Officials to go into hiding under the guise of seeking a serene environment to properly document the announced results, and subsequently allocate the highest votes scored to their preferred benefactor.

I am very certain that it’s not possible for Sen. Moro to poll the highest number of votes in Obi and Oju Local Governments, as finally declared by INEC. I can affirm with certainty that my votes in Obi and Oju, as with some other Local Governments in Benue South, were either swapped or suppressed at the last minute in favour of my opponent, Sen. Moro.

Isn’t it rather surprising that while my party delivered three out of the four House of Representatives Candidates in last Saturday’s poll in Benue South, the number of votes polled by these candidates in many Wards within their Federal Constituencies, tallied with the votes allegedly scored by Sen. Moro in the same Wards?

Sadly, the swapping of my votes was achieved in active connivance with some dubious and mischievous members of my party, the APC, many of whom had no genuine interest in the election but nonetheless, fought hard to be the ones to produce the party’s Polling Agents. Even after my political party had submitted the list of Party Agents to INEC before the close of the Commission’s portal to that effect, I received reliable information that the fifth columnists still went behind and altered the list to suit their evil agenda.

We saw this coming, hence we wrote to the National Chairman of my party on 16th February, 2023, requesting for the detailed list of our Party Agents in Benue South, so we can train and orientate them prior to the General Election, but the same clique of saboteurs and fifth columnists may have frustrated the granting of our request.

Consequently, I wish to declare that I am challenging the results of the Saturday, February 25th Senatorial Election in Benue South at the Elections Petitions Tribunal. I am therefore putting INEC on notice, in order for the Commission to avail us of the Certified True Copy (CTC) of all relevant documents and the original record of the B-VAS for the Benue South polls, before they re-configure the machines for the upcoming Gubernatorial Elections.

However, I must appreciate my teeming supporters and all the personable constituents of Benue South; who trooped out en mass, enduring the inclement weather and other socio-physical conditions, in order to cast their votes which was a true reflection of our collective and overarching desire for change. There’s no doubt that the generality of Benue South people voted for me, but the relatively few anti-progressive elements within our fold were hell-bent on frustrating our good intentions.

I urge all my supporters not to be discouraged, because it’s never over until it is over. With God, all things are possible! My aspiration to represent Benue South in the Senate has been a very rough and tortuous journey of twelve consecutive years; nonetheless, I am willing to return to the trenches in defense of the confidence you reposed in me through your massive votes. Rest assured, we shall fight relentlessly to reclaim our mandate at the Tribunal.

And to my big brother, Rt. Hon. Joe Ojobo of the Labour Party, I want you to know that even though we were on different sides of the divide in last Saturday’s election, we both have something great in common – we fought a worthy cause for our generation and generations unborn, to break the chains which have stifled our progress and development as a people for two and a half decades. Congratulations!

Thank you all.

Long live Benue South

Long live Benue State!

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

Signed,

Com. Daniel Donald Onjeh,

APC 2023 Senatorial Candidate for Benue South

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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