Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the March 18 governorship election in Abia state , Dr Alex Otti, yesterday insisted that with the margin he was leading in the poll, it’s not possible for anybody to overturn his victory.
Otti , who highlighted attempts by the the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state to manipulate the numbers from Obingwa council to cancel his massive lead , spoke during a press conference in Abuja.
The former top banker stressed that he already polled over 171,000 votes from 16 local governments so far declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with his closest rival, Okey Ahiwe of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) trailing with about 80,000, wondering how the 90,000 lead will be overturned.
Otti urged INEC not to accept any result that is not consistent with the information on the Bimodal Voter Authentication System (BVAS), alleging that the PDP had cooked some figures from Obingwa.
He said: “The votes, the Labour party has got out of the 16 local governments is over 171,000. That of PDP is less than 80,000. So how will you flip and dice it?
“Even the number they have written that does not have the support of the law, cannot torpedo our victory. It is also important to say that we believe that INEC will do the right thing.
“All the other local governments that have been declared used the BVAS machine for accreditation. It is our firm belief that INEC will not change the rules in the middle of the race.
“We are calling on our people in the Labour Party and Abia people to remain calm and wait on INEC to review the result.
“The other important thing is that we are also thanking INEC, like we have always said the BVAS is a game changer, particularly if there is the will to use it. What has happened this time around is that the BVAS has demystified Obingwa Local Government in Abia state.
“You will recall that in 2015, when I contested for the first time, it produced 82,000 votes from Obingwa to upturn the victory that Abia people gave us. This time around, they want to do the same thing but the BVAS has proved that there was no more than 30,000 votes. That was what we also proved in 2015 that led to our victory at the Court of Appeal.”
He, therefore maintained that with the comfortable lead of the LP in the race, and the reality of under 30,000 registered voters in Obingwa, the figure cannot change the victory of the party in the election.
Otti called on the people of Abia state to remain calm and assured them that INEC was reviewing the result from the Obingwa area. He also commended his co-contenders who had called to congratulate him on the ‘victory’, urging INEC to release the election result.
According to him, only results from the BVAS as provided in section 47 of the electoral Act are acceptable, insisting that the electoral umpire must obey the law.