The All Progressives Congress (APC) has roundly rejected the outcome of the just concluded gubernatorial elections in Cross River State which produced incumbent governor, Prof. Ben Ayade as winner, even as it insisted that the party lost to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and not the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The party further called for cancellation just as it demanded for a rerun, insisting that but for the several infractions and humiliations, it’s candidates for the gubernatorial and state assembly were headed for a clean sweep of the polls.
Speaking to journalists at the National Secretariat in Abuja, APC National Vice Chairman, South South, Ntufam Hilliard Eta in company of the party’s governorship candidate, Sen. John Owan-Enoh and other state party leaders, they insisted that the Minister of Niger Delta, Usani Uguru Usani also played roles that dwarfed the APC’s chances in the state.
“The National Assembly and Governorship/State Assembly elections organized by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Cross River State on Saturday February 23 and Saturday March 9, 2019, respectively, were, at its best, a sham that cannot stand the test of time. The contest was not just between the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates on one hand and the candidates of other parties that participated in the exercise on the other hand but between the APC candidates on one hand and the ruling party in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party, the INEC, the Security forces and Gov Ben Ayade’s organized thugs on the other. The Etim John-led faction of the party were the ones INEC collected list of party agents from instead of collecting from the authentic party exco led by Sir John Ochala. These anti-party agents (Etim John and co) colluded with PDP to subvert the will of the people.
“There is nothing more devastating and compromising than the attitude of the state INEC REC Dr. Frankland Briyai who on the eve of the Presidential/National Assembly elections on February 22, addressed the press and unilaterally announced the delisting of our candidates purportedly on the orders of a High Court whereas the matter was already in the domain of the Appeal Court from where a stay of execution order was secured. INEC indeed, did the bidding of Gov. Ben Ayade.
“In the governorship and National Assembly elections, several of the results declared by the Returning Officers were ordinarily supposed to be results of inconclusive elections. Yet, this didn’t matter to a highly biased and compromised electoral umpire.
“Based on the general atmosphere of exclusion of our candidates, intimidation, manipulation and hijacking of materials, we hereby reject the result declared by INEC and call for the cancellation of the elections in Cross River State in its entirety.