By Nwaigwe John Sunday
It was DeRay Mckesson who said that, ‘Justice that is not rooted in equity is not justice at all.’ That is why I believe justice should not be denied the good people of Abia North Senatorial District.“It is no longer news that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State rejected the result of the senatorial election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abia North Senatorial Zone on 23rd of February.
The real issue is about protecting the rights of the people. The will of the people should not be allowed to be suppressed. The State Working Committee of the PDP, presided over by the Chairman, Sir Johnson Onuigbo, had said “after a critical review of the election, including unlawful manipulations and unjustifiable cancellations, concluded that, at best, the election was inconclusive and should be so declared by INEC”. More so, there should be a re-run of the election based on INEC laws and guidelines and the number of cancelled votes.
INEC officially declared elections inconclusive in six states where governorship elections were held simply because number of cancelled votes outnumbered the margin in which the leading candidates are leading with. Why will the case of Abia North be different? Why should the INEC be playing partiality in a case that they can decide or settle amicably?
During the presidential and National Assembly elections conducted on the 23rd of February by INEC, the returning officer, Dr. Animodu, announced that Chief Orji Uzor Kalu was leading with 31,201 votes while his assumed second-runner up, Senator Mao Arukwe Ohuabunwa, polled 20,801 votes. Margin of lead was 10,400 votes and total number of cancelled votes 38,526. What would have stopped them from declaring the election of Abia North inconclusive as they did in Ondo South and other places?
Cancelation of results from Nkporo in Ohafia LGA where Ohuabunwa won outrightly was malicious. This same returning officer from Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike also cancelled results from 72 polling units out of 149 polling units were in Arochukwu LGA, the LGA of Ohuabunwa.
Below is a breakdown of supplementary elections holding in six states which have similar issues with that of Abia North: Adamawa State; Umaru Fintiri (PDP) – 367,471; Jibrilla Bindow (APC) – 334,995; Margin – 32,476; Cancelled votes – 40,988; Bauchi State; Bala Mohammed (PDP) – 469,512; Mohammed Abubakar (APC) – 465,453; Margin – 4,059; Cancelled votes – 45,312; Benue State; Samuel Ortom (PDP) – 410,576; Emmanuel Jime (APC) – 329,022; Margin – 81,554; Cancelled votes – 121,019; Kano State; Abba Yusuf (PDP) – 1,014,474; Abdullahi Ganduje (APC) – 987,819; Margin – 26,655; Cancelled votes – 128,572; Plateau State; Simon Lalong (APC) – 583,255; Jerry Useni (PDP) – 538,326; Margin – 44,929; Cancelled votes – 49,377; Sokoto State; Aminu Tambuwal (PDP) – 489,558; Aliyu Ahmed (APC) – 486,145; Margin – 3,413; Cancelled votes – 75,403
What is good for the goose is good for the gander. If re- run will be held in the affected states, why should they not be held in Abia North as well? INEC should not play double standards. There should be equity and justice.
- John lives in Lagos.