Labour Minister, Muoghalu lose own LGAs
David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has expressed shock over the loss of his local government area, Idemili South, to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in last Saturday presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Ngige, who was the party agent of the All Progressives Congress (APC), complained that his party polled 2,220 votes in the local government area, which had almost 35,000 accredited voters in the election, where he also rated himself as very popular.
He said the local government is reputed to be the most populous in Anambra State with 100,000 registered voters.
In the election result announced yesterday, the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), John Gbor, polled a paltry 876 votes, while the PDP polled 17,039 to emerge victorious in the local government area.
But the minister challenged Prof Ikechukwu Odoh who announced the result at the INEC headquarters in the state, saying there were discrepancies in the result announced.
Ngige said: “The local government area has the highest number of voters in the state, and it is a surprise that despite having over 100,000 voters and over 50,000 accredited voters, my party could poll just 2,220 votes.
“There were a lot of irregularities; most of my people could not vote because of problems associated with the card readers. People from my maternal home, Nnobi, were calling me and crying that they could not vote for their favourite candidates yet they produced a huge figure for PDP.”
The minister said his initial protest at the beginning of the collation of result was that most of the wards were collated from the local government headquarters and not from the wards as it was supposed to be.
“That was exactly the same thing they did in my local government area. The PDP simply shepherded the collation officers to the local government area in Ojoto, where they locked themselves in a hall and came out with this figures.
“We will not accept this election result, I want to tell you (state collation officer) that this result cannot stand. It must be cancelled, no matter what pain that will come with it,” he said.
When journalists enquired from Ngige if he would still protest if at the announcement of the whole election results, President Buhari is declared winner, Ngige said victory for Buhari would not stop him from challenging the result in court.
set straight. It cannot be heard of that I produced such number in my own local government area. So, even if President Buhari wins the election, I will still go to court, because records must be set straight, otherwise, someone will cite this result someday.”
Meanwhile, the candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Prof Kingsley Muoghalu, also failed to win his local government area, Nnewi North.
The YPP polled 956 votes in the local government area to emerge third position, while PDP towered above all the parties with 34,260 votes, while APC and APGA trailed with second and fourth positions respectively.