Mrs. Onyemaechi Joan Mrakpor, member representing Aniocha/Oshimili in the Federal House of Representatives, has said that following the nullification of the primaries conducted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to elect a candidate for the 2019 general elections, there is no candidate for the federal constituency pending the determination of the national executive council of the party.
The primaries was conducted in Asaba on Wednesday October 3 where Ndudi Godwin Elumelu was declared winner with a total vote of 266, Mrakpor scored 226 to emerge second, Peter Onwusanya, former speaker of the state House of Assembly, scored 13 while Ike scored one vote.
Prior the declaration of the final results at the police headquarters, which was only left with that of Elumelu, Onyemaechi was said to have disrupted the counting process when it became obvious that she was losing the election to Ndudi Elumelu, a former occupant of the constituency office.
She was said to have stepped down from the stage where the aspirants and others were sitting, came to the counting table, began to throw questions to the officers and that all entreaties made to her to return to her seat failed, hence the to avoid breakdown of law and order, the police released canisters, bullets, rending the air and everybody around ran helter-sketer for fear of their lives.
Some were said to have scaled the fence surrounding the cenotaph where the election was held and the final result was given at the police headquarters after peace had returned between 9 and 10pm on October 3. Mrakpor was, however, displeased with the results saying they were manipulated in favour of Elumelu.
At the government event centre in Asaba where the re-run was called on Friday, October 5, Mrs. Mrakpor told journalists that the election was canceled and a re-run ordered following the resolution of the appeal panel which she and Elumelu attended.
She said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was aware of the nullification of the election, adding that it was a collective decision of the appeal to cancel the election and fix the re-run for Friday October 5. And following the nullification, she said there is no candidate for the federal constituency.
She said the re-run was fixed by the state chairman of the party, Kingsley Esiso, who sent text messages to all delegates, the four aspirants, including Elumelu and herself that the re-run should be held on October 5. But to her utmost disappointment no member of the senior PDP officials attended the re-run, the state party chairman whom she said fixed the re-run was not found at the venue.
Also, no official of INEC was represented at the venue. The event centre had only Mrakpor, the 401 delegates, spectators, police officers and journalists. The people were said to have waited from 8am to 4pm without INEC officials and party representatives from either the national headquarters or the state secretariat.
Following the non-availability of INEC officials and party representatives besides the delegates, MRAKPOR made the following statement to journalists in a brief interview
“I want to thank the Almighty God for today that I have been able to prove a point. You can see the persons behind to the extreme, look at the delegates behind from the various canopies, and you look at the persons standing with me here, I have the council chairmen and the party chairmen of the federal constituencies, we have the four candidates who have just emerged from the primaries that were conducted for the house of assembly.
I am here, that is the other contestant, Ike, we have been here waiting for the primaries, we needed to prove a point, we needed to let Nigerians know that Aniocha/Oshimili still requires their representative. He is been here since 8am to give me support (the other aspirant). I am so surprised that with the rains, the delegates arrived here since 8am. And what is the time now, 4pm and every one of them 401 delegates, we took head count and documented. They are all still fully seated.
They told me they wanted to prove a point today as to where they are standing and they will stand with me but I don’t want to be inconsiderate, I don’t want to be selfish, we have stayed, it’s obvious to Nigerians that these are the delegates.
They issued a text from his (Elumelu) camp in the morning that his supporters should not come. So, the persons here are those that ignored their text messages, those that said we are supporting this woman, we will make it obvious. And you can see all of them are here, not a single one is trying to hide their faces. So, I am satisfied, I am also very happy that the appeal panel has nullified the trash that held on the 3rd of October. So, we allow PDP to take it from there.
After it was nullified, this re-run was fixed, the party chairman of Delta state, Barrister Kingsley Esiso, sent messages to local government party chairmen, sent to me, sent to everyone of us for this re-run and that is why we are here today, we don’t know why they are running away but PDP will take the rest.
It was nullified because of obvious irregularities. When they had head count of 519, the accredited voters of 491 until Hon. Ned strolled in and it became 492. And at the end of the day, they ascribed their own vote to me, my own they ascribed to me was 236, if you add 236 to the 14, his own and the ones of Onwusanya, and add my voided votes I will be 253 and the balance will be 221, so the 266 that was given to Elumelu was one of the reasons why it was nullified. That 266 does not have foundation.”