8th April, 2023
By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Rivers March 18 governorship election, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, has vowed challenge the outcome of the election at Tribunal.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC declared Siminialayi Fubara of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the winner of the governorship election with 302,614 votes to defeat his closet rival Tonye Cole of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who scored 95,274 votes.
Abe came a distant third in the election with 46,981.
But speaking on a live radio programme, monitored in Port Harcourt, the state capital over the weekend, Abe disputed the outcome of the election.
He said: “We have studied the so-called outcome of the process of March 18 and have taken a decision and we are acting on it.
“I don’t think that what happened on March 18 reflects the wishes of Rivers people or the desire of God for a better life for all of us.
“We don’t accept what happened on March 18 as the voice of God or a clear reflection of the wishes of Rivers people.
“We don’t think our people were allowed to democratically and effectively choose their leadership in accordance with the provisions of the Electoral Act. So, we will be going to Court to challenge that.”
He added that it is regrettable that officials of INEC refused to attend to SDP members who were at the commission’s office last Thursday to collect some documents that will support the party’s petition at the tribunal.
He said: “We sent some people who applied for some materials on behalf of the SDP and even from within INEC, they got instruction suddenly to close for the day and asked everybody to come back on Tuesday.
“How do you do that when you are dealing with something that is time-bound and time sensitive?
“So, I think that all these distractions and obstructions are not in our best interest. Those who want to go to court should be allowed to do so. It is part of the democratic process.”
The Senator also felicitated with Rivers people at Easter stating, ‘I want to use this opportunity to wish Rivers people a pleasant and happy Easter to all of us and say that Easter exemplifies the sacrifice of Christ, redemption and hope to humanity.
“Rivers state is not a Christian state when we just say so. But when the love of Christ, tolerance, kindness, helping one another and other virtues of Christ is reflected in what happens in our state, then can we say that Rivers state is a Christian state.
“Attacking people, kidnapping them and blocking of INEC gate does not reflect the virtues of a Christian state. We should put an end to it and allow peace and love to reign in our state.”