Former CBN governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, PDP governorship’s candidate in the Feb. 6 governorship elections in Anambra State, has conceded victory to the incumbent state governor, Mr Peter Obi.
Soludo, who addressed newsmen in Awka on Sunday shortly after the announcement of the results, said the election was not a fight between himself and Obi, but about the future of the state.
Governor Peter Obi of APGA was declared winner by INEC with Dr Chris Ngige of AC and Prof. Chukwuma Soludo of the PDP, coming second and third respectively.
Prof. Soludo however faulted the conduct of the election, noting that there were grave flaws that INEC exhibited during the exercise.
“The conduct of the election portended ominous note for the nation’s democracy, especially where the voters register were fraudulently manipulated to exclude thousands of voters” he said.
According to him, in most places the voters register used at the polling booths were different from the ones displayed or given to the political parties.
The PDP candidate noted that even people who had verified and confirmed their names during the display of voters register could not find them on the voting day.
“What happened in Anambra is what a friend has described as administrative rigging.
“Hundreds of thousands of people who turned out to vote and with their valid voter’s cards were disenfranchised. Can this be described as a free and fair election?
“May we all keep our eyes on the ball despite the seeming temporary setback, because I still have abiding faith in the Anambra project.
“I believe that politics is the only veritable avenue at ensuring enduring democracy and development; I have stepped out and will devote the rest of my life to public service,” he said.
Soludo noted that the struggle for a better Anambra and Nigeria had only just begun, saying the experience revealed how desperately the nation needed fundamental electoral reforms.
“A situation where INEC determined whether and where voters can exercise their right to vote as in the case of Anambra cannot augur well for our nascent democracy,” Soludo said.