National Chairman of Labour Party, Barrister Julius Abure, has said that the Presidential candidate in the 2023 general election, Peter Obi and Enugu State governorship candidate, Chijioke Edeoga were the two biggest casualties of the flawed electoral act.
The Labour Party Chairman also appointed Chijioke Edeoga into the team of party’s committee that will work for the reformation of the nation’s electoral act.
The Enugu State governorship candidate on Wednesday paid a ‘Thank You’ visit to the National Headquarters of the Labour Party, where he gave account of how he contested but was rigged out in the March 18th 2023 election by the collusion of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Enugu State government.
In a statement signed Wednesday by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, Edeoga, who said that he was yet to come to terms with the final judgement against him even with the obvious evidences that supports his victory, however pleaded with the Party to support electoral act reform.
He said: “The electoral brigandage and vote rigging are the most dangerous things that can happen in a democracy. Because the people who vote are voting on the basis of their prayers, based on their frustrations, based on their expectations but as soon as they cast their votes, the votes disappeared. So, anything we can do to protect the sanctity of votes, we should do it.
“The votes mean someone’s approval for a candidate. It is more than a physical act. It is not just a symbolic act; it has a spiritual dimension.
“After the Supreme Court judgement, many people have not come to terms with it. A lot of people are facing one ill health or the other. The judgement threw Enugu into a mourning condition. I have not come to terms with it and I will never come to terms with it.
“But I have to come here to tell you that the ticket you gave me, I did not play with it, I did not trade with it, I did not bargain with it. I knew that my people entrusted their mandate to me but it was not my fault, I tried my best. I came to say thank you. I came to say, I am here send me to continue the work of national redemption.”
In his response, LP National Chairman, Abure, while appointing Edeoga in the electoral reform committee said, “It is very clear that they robbed us of that election. It was done in collusion with INEC officials and PDP government in Enugu state. The whole world is aware of it. Even before you spoke about electoral reforms the party has decided since last year that we are going to pursue electoral reforms in Nigeria. And that what happened to us in the general election will never happen to us again.
“We believe that the starting point is to begin early enough with the pursuit of electoral reform because we saw all the antics that played out between the national assembly and the presidency in the past electoral reform.
“And as I speak with you, we are already constituting the committee that will give us the framework for the review. We also decided that Labour Party will not be a spectator and that we will be the drivers of that processes.”
He said that the only people that can pursue electoral reforms are those who are victims of the process.
“I have made it clear that the major victim of the 2023 general election is the Labour Party. And therefore we cannot be seen to take back seat in the pursuit of electoral reform and in defense of our votes.
“And since you are a major victim, one major victim after Peter Obi of electoral fraud in Nigeria, you will be in the best position to help the party and the Nigeria generally to resolve this crisis in our hand”, he said.