By Henry Umoru
TWO senators from Edo State, Francis Alimikhena, APC, Edo North and Matthew Urhoghide, PDP, Edo South, have clashed over the outcome of September 28 Edo State governorship election, with one saying the election was free and fair and the other countering that the election was skewed in such a way to achieve a pre determined result for the All Progressives Congress, APC.
While Senator Alimikhena said that there was no rigging by APC anywhere in the state, which he claimed is an APC state, Senator Urhoghide alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, manipulated the results in favour of the APC.
Both Alimikhena and Urhoghide spoke separately with Vanguard on the Edo State governorship election.
How INEC skewed poll in favour of APC — Urhoghide
Senator Urhoghide said: “If they say that the election was rigged, it was an understatement. The whole process of the election on the 28th of September was skewed in such a way that the pre-determined result was achieved.
“In my polling unit, where very responsible citizens voted on that day, the election was cancelled because they claimed that there was violence though there was no violence.
“What national and local observers had said, that there was no collation at all levels, was very clear. And we are saying that the results of the units were different from the results collated from the wards. So, you don’t need to say anything other than that all the processes of the election that day were skewed by INEC for the APC to win the governorship election. Anybody that was involved in such controversies is unfair to the people of Edo that voted for their governor on that day.”
The Poll went well – APC
Countering, Senator Alimikhena said: “The poll went well, you should know that Edo state is APC state. APC won the election and it is not a surprise. You know in Nigeria here, we don’t accept the spirit of sportsmanship. Where PDP won, they said no rigging, where they lost, they said there is rigging. I want to put it straight here that there was no rigging anywhere, the election was peaceful, it was free and fair and was conducted in a manner specified by INEC.
“PDP people should accept the result in good faith; there is no point making noise that it was rigged or it was not rigged. They should just accept the results and outcome of the election in good faith.”
On plans by the PDP to go to the election tribunal, Senator Alimikhena said: “Good, that is why we have democracy, if you are not satisfied with one platform you go to another platform. If you are not satisfied with one decision, you take your case to the court. With that election, there is no reason for PDP to go to the court, it is only because they are not satisfied, but if they go, APC will be vindicated that it won the election conducted September 28, 2016.
“They should not waste their money in the court, there is no point going to the court. APC has defeated PDP in Edo State. If they now want to go to court, they can go to court. We will all meet in court.’’