INEC should have based their decision on total PVCs collected not total voters – Governor Rochas


The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Alliance, APC, and the incumbent governor of the state, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has given reasons why the Independent National Electoral Commission should not have declared Saturday’s elections inconclusive with supplementary elections announced across various LGAs.
Highlighting his reasons while speaking to members of the press at the Douglas House on Monday, he buttressed the fact that INEC should have based its decisions on the number of PVCs collected and not the number of registered voters.
It will be recalled that the state’s returning officer for the governorship elections, Prof. Ibidapo Obe, stated that the election was inconclusive because the margin (79,529) between the frontrunner, Okorocha and his contender, Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was less than the number of registered voters (144,715) in wards across the state where elections did not hold or were cancelled due to violence. He maintained that a new date would be announced for a supplementary election –
According to Governor Rochas, he is very much aware of the provision of the electoral law regarding the number of registered voters, but he still maintained that INEC should have considered distribution of PVC in the affected areas instead of registered voters as only voters with PVC can vote.
He said, “The electoral act has talked about registered voters and in the workings of that act and in the spirit of the law, you cannot not make use of number of registered voters, you have to make use of number of PVC collected.
“When you look at the number of PVC collected you find out that there is no need for this supplementary election because the number of PVC collected will be less than the 79,000 votes difference between me and the PDP candidate. But now they are basing on the number of registered voters. Number of registered voters does not cast the vote; it is the number of PVC collected that does.”
He however expressed his readiness for whatever decisions the electoral umpire come up with because he is confident of still emerging winner if elections are fairly conducted. In his words, “You can only change the date of a burial but you cannot change the burial. From the results available, the fact speaks for itself, we have won this election despite all the irregularities”.
According to him, he is more in contest with the unfair electoral process than with any candidate.
“If you look at what has happened in his areas of jurisdiction and his local government, Mbaise local government, Ahiazu, Ezinnite, Aboh Mbaise, where he gave himself almost 80,000 votes. Can you imagine in Aboh Mbaise, you have 51,000 voters when the actual PVC collected is about 60,000 and in Mbaitoli where you have over 100,000 PVC collected the total votes there is about 30,000 so that tells you the manipulation. What we saw in those areas was simply the militarization of the entire process – snatching of ballot boxes and violence and what have you.
“But because of these manipulations and writing of results and taking result sheets and going to somebody’s house – escorted by security agencies- to write the result and come in the private car to INEC headquarters, that is why many people think there is a contest. So I’m not in contest with that gentle man, I’m in contest with the entire manipulation of the system and the election,” he said.


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