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Dissatisfied with the outcome of the March 18, 2023 governorship election in Cross River State, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Cross River State, Senator Sandy Onor has expressed readiness to challenge the declaration of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Prince Bassey Otu as the Governor-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The APC candidate, Senator Onor, in a statement on Monday said the election which produced Senator Bassey Otu as governor-elect was marred by irregularities and violence, and as such, does not reflect the will of the people of the state.
According to him, having taken a deep analysis of the process and the outcome of the polls, and after a wide consultation with his legal team, there is a need to seek redress in court.
In view of the development, he urged his teeming supporters across the state to remain calm and put their trust in God, who ultimately gives power.
His statement reads: “About a week ago, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared my friend and brother, Senator Bassey Edet Otu, the winner of the Saturday 18th March Governorship Elections in Cross River State.
“The fundamental norm of every contest is that there must be a winner and a loser but the contest must also be free, fair, and credible.
“We are all aware that the said election was marred by a plethora of irregularities.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission was neither independent nor impartial. INEC officials aided by security personnel manipulated the system altered results at various collation levels and frustrated the will of the majority of Cross Riverians.
“Indeed, the election of Saturday 18 March 2023 was characterized by outright vote buying, intimidation of voters, and violence, which regrettably led to the loss of lives.
“We express our heartfelt sympathies to the families of these heroes of democracy.
“We assure you that the perpetrators of this crime shall be brought to justice, if not by man, but by God.
“We have consulted with our legal and technical teams as well as stakeholders to review the entire electoral process and have come to the inescapable conclusion that we must seek legal redress.
“This is tailored to meet the yearnings and aspirations of a vast majority of Cross Riverians. We are confident that we will get justice.
“We appeal to our teeming supporters across the length and breadth of our dear State to remain calm and put their trust in God, who ultimately gives power. God bless Cross River State”, Senator Sandy Onor stated.