BREAKING: ABIA: APGA’s Gregory Ibe Concedes Defeat, Says LP’s Alex Otti Has Sufficient Votes To Emerge Governor-Elect
Professor Gregory Ibe, the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), has conceded defeat to Dr Alex Otti of the Labour Party ahead of the final collation of results of Saturday’s governorship election in Abia State.
Ibe, in a statement on Monday, said results declared so far by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have shown that Otti secured sufficient votes to be declared as the governor-elect of Abia.
The APGA candidate’s concession came hours after INEC announced indefinite suspension of collation of the results after political thugs disrupted the process on Sunday.
The thugs, said to be affiliated with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), invaded INEC’s collation centre in Obingwa Local Government Area and attempted to force the electoral officers to declare falsified results in the LGA.
Ibe said in his statement, “Sequel to the present en passe created by the stalemated collation of results of the governorship election in Abia State, I hereby request Abians to remain calm while keeping hope alive.
“Though information sourced from our election situation room confirms widespread irregularities across the state, with Obingwa leading some other Local Government Areas in recording the unique malfeasance of non-deployment of BVAS machines, it is no longer news that the Labour Party has so far garnered sufficient votes to emerge victorious.
“Therefore ahead of the formal declaration of the official result, I want to congratulate my brother Dr Alex Otti, candidate of the Labour Party for his consistency so for in the battle to liberate Abia from the shackles of underdevelopment and well-deserved victory at the polls.
“Finally, I want to enjoin the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to leave no stone unturned in their effort to solve the current en passe by eliminating from the ongoing process of collation of results, obvious cases of electoral fraud, and by so doing ensure substantial compliance to statutory provisions of the new electoral act, especially as it pertains to conduct of elections using the BVAS machines.”