Denial of Rightful Mandate and Fraudulent ACN Primaries in Esan West,
Esan Central and Igueben Local Government Area Federal Constituency, Edo State.
I am an aspirant for the House of Representatives from the Igueben,
Esan Central and Esan West Local Government Area Federal Constituency,
having duly and rigorously campaigned and promoted ACN party
activities in my area for the past few months awaited primaries with
In Esan West, the elections were peacefully held on the first day,
12-1-2011 and all the ten (10) wards were completed wherein I won,
seven out of the ten wards. However, ward 8 result was cancelled for
no just reason, even though we all agreed the elections were orderly
In Esan Central, the elections were peacefully held on the first day,
12-1-2011 and five wards were completed wherein I won, three out of
the five wards. On the second day, 13-1-2011 the elections were
carried out and I won three additional wards out of the remaining five
wards but tensions built up around threats to mar the peaceful
elections of the previous day that gave me a clear lead among other
aspirants and so the entire local government results were cancelled,
instead of just cancelling the results of the second day elections
that was marred. Despite the cancellation of this entire local
government area elections, a house of Assembly member was chosen and
declared by the same cancelled elections. Where then did the results
for this declaration come from?
In Igueben local Government Area, I won three out of the completed 8
wards but no elections were held in Wards 1& 5 of the local government
area as my campaign coordinator notes indicate the details of the
elections in the two wards below.
On the first day, January 12, 2011 in Ward 1, the election materials
did not get to the center, Idumogo Primary School, till about 5pm.
Before then, however, it was rumored that one of the Aspirants, Hon.
Fidelis Ogbejele (a member of the Ward 1) had fake membership cards
which he had shared to some people to vote for him.
When the voting started, we insisted on accreditations but the other
aspirant, Honourable Fidelis Ogbejele took his post card and said, and
I quote “those for Chief Ikimi, Okoh and me, line up behind me”
ACN cards were collected from Hon Ogbejele’s line, out of the first
sets of about fifty cards accredited, over eleven were found to be
fake party cards and their names were not found in the party register.
The Lady Electoral Officer could not continue with the exercise as a
result of time and due to the protest of voters who insisted that the
cards and their owners be handed over to the Police. At about 7:15pm,
the Electoral Officer and the DPO collected all the cards (both the
fake ones discovered and the real cards of other members cards
collected together) to the ACN Secretariat at Igueben where the cards
were handed over to the Senior Electoral Officer. To date, the cards
of those suspected not to be in their camp are yet to be returned.
The SSS and the Police were witnesses to the fake cards confiscation.
On Thursday, 13-1-2011, it was rumored that the elections will be held
in the same Ward 1 at Igueben. We mobilized our supporters and other
members of the electorate to the venue of the voting. We waited for
hours but at about 5pm the Electoral Officers and the materials came
and after the briefing, we insisted on accreditation and requested to
know what happened to the cards that were not returned and of any
re-run or repeated election in the ward one(1) of Igueben LGA. We also
requested to know what happened to the culprits of the fake cards but
we were not given any answers as to what happened to the cards or the
culprits. But Hon. Fidelis Ogbejele insisted that “accreditation or
no accreditation” that his supporters should line up behind him and be
counted. But we insisted on accreditation before voting. The people
with genuine cards collected the previous day were insisting on
getting their cards back. At this point in time, protests started.
Still no cards were returned.
Despite the protest, Hon. Fidelis Ogbejele still insisted and ordered
that the people behind him be counted with or without accreditation.
This led to the build of tension in the venue. The Nigerian Police
Force tried to intervene as a result of the high tension. By now it
was 6.25pm and given the party mandate that no elections will be held
after 6pm along with the tension building up in the ward, people left
the premises and the voters were still not accredited as everybody
left the venue without voting in protest. Also, the returning officer
also did not come to the venue I contacted the returning officer and
he informed me that he will not come to the venue because of the
tension and that there will be no voting there adding to the confusion
of the manufactured results that gave my opponent the lead.
In Igueben LGA, Ward 5: The Electoral officers and the materials
arrived the venue at 6pm. Accreditation could not start till at about
6:15pm. As at this time it was already getting dark in the field where
the election was to take place so due to this challenge and the
transferred aggression of the previous day experience, people began to
protest and because of the mounting tension and to ensure the safety
of the materials and the personnel, the Police officers who
accompanied the materials hurriedly left the venue in a Volkswagen
Passat saloon car and election did not take place. Hence we were
totally dismayed to hear that results of an election as none took
place in the first place.
With the foregoing activities in the voting venues and with no
elections in the identified wards, I was leading all the other
aspirants with three out of five wards in Esan Central, six out of
ten(10) wards in Esan West and three (3) out of eight(8) wards in
Igueben Local Government Area. Hence it was a shock to me and my
supporters to find out on the day that the results were tabulated and
announced in Benin that I was not the candidate. The manipulated
figures was chosen to cancel all the votes counted and accepted in
Esan Central and Ward 8 of Esan West as well as manufacturing votes
from Ward 1 & 5 in Igueben Local Government Area to give my opponent a
lead and make him the purported winner.
As an aspirant that left as the organizing secretary of the ruling
People’s Democratic Party to pitch my tent with a party that I
believed would give me the democratic alternative to elitist politics
and “Godfatherism,” this was a slap in the face. As the results from
Ward 1&5 of Igueben local government area were manufactured by
individuals arrogating themselves to deny me and the populace our
right to vote and the cancellation of a whole LGA and ward 8 of Esan
west wherein I had a clear lead to deny me the mandate that have been
given me by my constituency.
The slogan “one man, one vote” that our great party, ACN has preached
has been undermined by persons who have decided to deny the people
their right to select their candidate. The tyranny that we have all
left the PDP to seek justice in the great democratic alternative that
ACN offers is being ridiculed by the action of a few men who are
remotely manipulating the wishes of the people to promote and select
their own candidate. The figures have now been manipulated to show
voting done in ward one (1) and Ward (5) where the protest led to
election cancellation of voting. And in wards where I had a clear
lead, results cancelled to deny me the mandate. This is not the image
that our great party wants to portray when we are shown to be the
party that is fighting the greater tyranny and dominance of the ruling
party. How would the public feel to know that the message we are
preaching to them is being rubbished right in our own backyard because
there are still sacred cows, whom no one can fight, even when we know
that they are doing the wrong thing. The results are there for
everyone to see, the people who voted thankfully are still alive as I
would not stand for any violence during or after the voting exercise.
Therefore the figures presented to your office is a gross violation of
the democratic principle of “One Man One Vote” and the democratic
alternative that ACN has offered to those seeking solace from the so
called Godfatherism of the past and more importantly a violation of
the provision of the Electoral Vote.
Therefore, I am using this medium to appeal to your office for
justice. I am counting on the Party machinery to register my petition
and nullify the manufactured results as presented and restore my
mandate. This is the only way we can prove that Justice and true
democracy is right of the people and the true mandate of ACN.
Gallant Godfrey Ogbomon-Paul