The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Enugu, Frank Nweke, has described the March 18 governorship election in the state as an assault on democracy.
In a post on his verified Twitter handle on Friday, the ex-Minister of Information, said the election was characterised by “a multitude of infringements on our democratic process, an assault on our desires, and our hope for our great state.”
Recalling his promise to offer his congratulations and best wishes to whoever emerged in a fair and transparent manner during his campaigns, Nweke said the election was far from fair and certainly not transparent.
He accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of deploying violence, thuggery, intimidation, use of divisive sentiments, and the weaponization of poverty against the people in the course of the campaign and the elections to hold on to power against the will of the people.
He alleged that the PDP also secured the assistance of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) agents to rig the election, offering cash or issuing threats as the situation demanded.
Nweke condemned INEC for going ahead to declare the contested Nkanu East result without any explanation of how they came about with the numbers.
“The entire process, down to the declaration of its winner, is a complete farce and will lack legitimacy for as long as it stands,” he said.
“The results of Nkanu East local government area, which were contested, got reviewed and revised by the national office of INEC without any basis given for the change in numbers. If it was a case of over-voting, the expectation is that the result from the local government area should have been cancelled
“It does seem that the numbers were simply manufactured to fit a preprogrammed outcome and read out to the public, as can be inferred from the Returning Officer of INEC in the state, Prof Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe’s comments about acting under authority and reading out what he had been given.
“I am utterly disappointed with the manner in which the Independent National Electoral Commission handled the 2023 elections. I am also saddened by the actions of some members of our security agencies. Both of these institutions of state let the people down when they became compromised by a few desperate power mongers and looters.”
On Wednesday, INEC declared the candidate of the PDP, Peter Mbah as the winner of the Enugu State governorship elections.
Mbah polled 160,895 votes slightly above his closest rivals — Chijioke Edeoga of the Labour Party (LP) who scored 157,552.
Nweke garnered 17,983 votes to come third, while the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Uche Nnaji, was fourth, with 14,575 votes.