Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The Coalition of Delta APC Support Groups on Friday advised the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Delta State, Great Ogboru, not to waste time and resources challenging the outcome of last Saturday’s election.
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared the incumbent governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the election after he polled a total 925,274 votes to beat Ogboru who scored 215,938 votes.
Although the APC candidate has vowed to challenge the election result in court on the allegation that it was fraught with gross irregularities, his party men (Coalition of Delta APC Support Groups) are advising him to drop the idea, saying that Okowa won fair and square.
Addressing newsmen in Asaba, convener of the coalition, Daniel Ekiugbo, said INEC’s declaration was a true reflection of the wishes of the people of the state, urging the APC leadership not to support Ogboru as he heads to the courts.
“It is obvious that challenging the outcome will be a wild goose chase; the margin is too wide for any sane person to think of challenging. Ogboru had been challenging electoral victories in the past on allegations of being rigged out.
“So the national leadership of APC now provided the level playing field so that he will not be rigged out this time, but he was overwhelmed, winning in just two out of 25 local government areas,” Ekiugbo added.
Ekiugbo argued that the APC lost the governorship election partly because of the alleged diversion of over N3 billion that was released for the purpose of the election, insisting that there was no evidence that such money was ever disbursed.
He said Ogboru as governorship candidate was a misadventure, adding that his ambition was selfishly driven to “rake-in election funds without any strategy put in place to guarantee victory,” and noted that a budget of over N3 billion was even overfunded to prosecute the governorship election.
“There was no evidence anywhere that he spent N1 billion for the elections. He refused to properly disburse and chose to release paltry amounts only to his few chosen supporters.
“Even for his LGA rallies, he never released one kobo, instead he directed that local leaders and supporters should task themselves to fund such rallies. And because most leaders could not raise such funds, a lot of LGA rallies were either abandoned or turned out to be huge flops,” Ekiugbo alleged.
“We reiterate our demand that the National Working Committee (NWC) of our great party sets up a panel of inquiry to immediately review the outcome of the Delta APC overall performance in the just concluded elections,” he added.
Although the governorship candidate, Ogboru could not be reached to react to the allegation of diversion of over N3 billion campaign funds, the party chairman in the state, Jones Erue, said he was not aware of how much came in during the elections, adding that the party had not made any collation of funds, insisting that the party was rigged out in last Saturday’s election.