LP warns INEC not to scuttle its ‘victory’ in Enugu

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The Labour Party (LP) has warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to scuttle the impending ‘victory’ of the party in Enugu state.

National Chairman of the Labour Party, Bar. Julius Abure gave the warning in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

Abure said information at the disposal of the party showed that the ongoing review of the governorship election results from Enugu state by INEC was being tailored towards short-changing the Labour Party and in favour of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

“The information reaching our party has it that the on going review of the governorship election results from Enugu state by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC is being tailored towards short-changing the Labour Party, LP and in favour of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

“We do not want to believe that information even though we consider it very credible. We are also aware that INEC, having reviewed the information from the Voters Accreditation Registrar, the BVAS and IReV must by now be well aware that the Labour Party won the election clearly,” the statement said.

The statement added: “We are however appalled that INEC is taking so much time in making a definite pronouncement on the outcome of the result which is already in the public sphere.

“However, for the sake of emphasis, we want to inform Nigerians the crux of the contention. According to the data from INEC at our disposal and that can be verified, the total number of registered voters in Nkanu East was 36,976. The number of Permanent Voters’ Cards, PVC, collected was 27,594 and the number of voters accredited by BVAS on election day was 7,453.

“However, having noticed that LP is cruising to victory with over 15,000 votes, the PDP in collaboration with some compromised INEC officials padded and announced 30,560 as votes earned by the PDP candidate. The intention obviously was to ensure that PDP garners more votes than the LP.

“The Labour Party is contesting this outrageous figure on the ground that PDP couldn’t have scored more votes than the accredited votes for the Local Government Area. Where did they get the votes because it is certainly not from that same election which was held simultaneously with both the state assembly and the Senate. None of these elections recorded such a magnitude of votes.

“So, the Labour Party is demanding that in line with the Electoral Act, in places where there is over voting such an election must be cancelled. Secondly, the margin of lead by the LP’s candidate which is about 15, 000 was bigger than the number of the people that were accredited to vote in Nkanu East. So, even if you add the whole 7,453 accredited votes to the PDP, LP’s total votes will still be higher.

“We are therefore worried that INEC is even contemplating short-changing the Labour Party. With the information at our disposal, we are calling on INEC to do the right thing. Labour Party has won virtually all the elections in Enugu state including seven out of eight House of Representatives and two senate seats out of the three senatorial positions. It will interest you to know that the LP senatorial candidate that was assassinated three days to the election, a replacement was effected and the LP won convincingly. This election in dispute was conducted the same day with the senatorial election which we won. There is therefore no doubt that Enugu state is a LP state. If they are smart, they would have known that on the same day, the state House of Assembly election took place and it is still the same number of people that were accredited for the exercise.

“We are therefore calling on INEC, that having meted out injustices to Labour Party in the presidential election and across other states including Lagos, Edo, Rivers, Imo amongst others, it will be infra-dig if Enugu governorship is by any means ceded to any other party aside LP which won the election convincingly. This will amount to open rape of democracy. It will be another height of injustice. INEC owes itself a duty to protect its integrity which is already challenged and ensure that the real meaning of democracy is guarded and respected in Nigeria.”