Cross River By-Elections: APC, PDP fault results, opts for tribunal

Cross River State chapters of the Peoples Democratic Party and All Peoples Congress have declared their intentions to approach the yet-to-be constituted Election PetitionsTribunal following the outcome of the Akpabuyo State Constituency and Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency by-elections on Saturday.

The APC candidate for Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency by-election, Mr. Jude Ngaji won with a total of 22,778 votes while the PDP’s candidate, Mr. Mike Usibe, came second with 20, 590 votes.

In the contest for the Akpabuyo State Constituency seat, the PDP candidate, Dr. Ekeng Effiom, polled 5, 866 votes to defeat APC’s candidate, Mr. Ekpo Bassey, who scored 5, 363 votes.

But both parties have rejected the results of the elections where they lost, citing irregularities in some of the wards and deeming the process compromised.

In a statement issued by the State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mr. Erasmus Ekpang, he said the party totally rejected the election results of the Akpabuyo state constituency by-election and vows to challenge the outcome of the election when the tribunal is constituted.

Ekpang in the statement pleads with their teeming supporters and the electorate in Akpabuyo to remain calm.

“The party seeks to employ all relevant legal means to reclaim our stolen mandate.

“We wish to condemn in strong terms the acts of shenanigan perpetrated by the PDP in Akpabuyo in the name of election, as barbaric, uncivilized, and undemocratic.

“This show of shame by PDP can best be described as an injurious rape on our nascent democracy as the whole process was grossly marred by outright violence, vote-buying, intimidation of innocent voters, and all forms of rigging by the main opposition Party and we hereby reject the election results completely.

“We have enough evidence at our disposal on how the PDP vented havoc on the innocent electorate and shooting on target of some APC members, ” he said.

In the same vein, the State Chairman of PDP, Mr. Venatius Ikem, accused the ruling APC of deploying violence and thuggery to win the Ogoja/Yala federal constituency.

“It is pathetic to watch state actors deploy so much force against PDP and voters who had voted in the past for the same APC people who were hitherto in PDP.

“The PDP in the state, under my watch, will never indulge in the planning of elections that include nefarious activities, recruitment of cultists, and using brigandage by state actors to achieve what in the end will be a pyrrhic victory!

“Those who do will have their recompense. We won the legitimate vote and we will fight to correct the records, no matter how long it takes. We will fight the fight on principle.

“I bring my Christian Faith into politics. We will fight the just cause. Be rest assured that we will leave no stone unturned in search of the victory we won in the field by your legislative votes.

“Our party members should hold their heads high for you fought a good fight and you won the votes and the hearts and minds of your people,” Ikem said.

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