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Why I won’t contest Edo election outcome, by Ize-Iyamu

THE All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the Edo September 19 governorship poll, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, yesterday, said the decision not to contest the outcome of the election was out of the desire not to heighten the tension in the state.

Though he would not contest his defeat in court, he said in a statement he issued Monday, he was aware that the election was marred by malpractices.

Ize-Iyamu said the election was not free or fair, contrary to claims by the winning People’s Democractic Party, PDP and local and international observers. He alleged that there “were several episodes of violence, voter intimidation and falsification of results.”

The APC candidate said, however, he would continue the pre-election cases challenging Obaseki’s eligibility to contest the poll. This he said, is “in full exercise of our legal rights, just as our opponents have considered it their prerogative to also continue with their pre-election cases against us.”

“There were unlawful cancellations of results particularly from Urhonigbe South and North in Orhiomwon while results were falsified from many polling units in Ofunama in Ovia South West, and in parts of Ovia North East, Owan West, Oredo, Egor, Ikpoba-Okha, Esan North East, Esan West, Esan South East, and Uhunmwode Local Government Areas,” claimed Ize-Iyamu.

He accused security agents of refusing to intervene when “gun-wielding thugs took over collation centres in many locations.”

Ize-Iyamu continued, “there were also several cases of malfunctioning card readers, which disenfranchised duly registered voters in addition to many cases of unregistered voters voting with pre-purchased voters’ cards not collected by their actual owners.”

These malpractices could easily form the basis to challenge the election results, he said.

He added, “We have decided not to commence an election petition. This is to avoid further tension in the state.

“We are also mindful that the leadership of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and many well-placed individuals have made pronouncements endorsing the process, which we have chosen to respect.”

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