The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia North Senatorial District has told senator-elect, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) that he can’t get away with what it termed “a stolen mandate”.
The PDP made their stand known on Friday during a solidarity visit to the incumbent Senator, Chief Mao Ohuabunwa to pledge their unflinching support in his bid to recover his “stolen mandate.”
Abia North Zonal Chairman of PDP, Hon Matthew Ibe, said that the PDP as one united family would stop at nothing until “the people’s mandate given to our candidate but forcefully stolen by APC is returned “.
The former lawmaker expressed shock that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, issued certificate of return to Kalu “even when he was never returned nor declared the winner of the Abia North senatorial contest by the Returning officer”.
He urged INEC to withdraw Kalu’s certificate of return and organise re-run election in all the polling units and wards where votes were canceled.
“This is the height of impunity and rascality for a man who was never returned in an election to be issued with the certificate of return.
“Kalu only scored the highest number of votes by fraudulently allocating figures to himself but still at that, the 10,000 votes margin of win remains a far cry from the over 38,000 total number of canceled votes.
“It is only a question of time and our candidate’s stolen mandate will be restored “, he said.
The PDP Zonal Chairman urged other successful candidates of the party including Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu and his Deputy Ude Oko Chukwu not to abandon the senator but relentlessly sustain their support until his mandate is restored.
Responding, Ohuabunwa thanked the delegation for their solidarity, expressing faith that he would get justice at the tribunal.
He said the position of the law and INEC guideline on the principle of the margin of win was very clear, and “unambiguously makes it illegal” for a candidate to be returned in an election if the margin of win is less than the number of canceled votes.
Ohuabunwa said “Kalu knows that what he has is a stolen mandate which he will soon surrender. He knows the truth but only thinks he can play smart but unfortunately for him, we are resolute in reclaiming the people’s mandate.”