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By CHINELO OBOGO
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said that it has put the Ondo State governorship elections behind it but will contest the outcome if it is ascertained that irregularities and wrongful actions altered the results.
In a statement signed by its National Chairman, Bisi Akande, the party maintained that it had begun an accurate assessment of the election and would not contest the outcome if it was found that the lapses in the election did not significantly alter the results.
The statement reads in part: “We believe in the right of the people of Ondo State to determine who leads them. For us in ACN, the Ondo State election is a battle in a large war, which is the war of deepening democracy and ensuring accountability in our country.
We have therefore resolved to put the elections behind us while pursuing the task of providing leadership for our people effectively. “However, we have started an accurate but swift assessment of the entire election, from the vote count to the many and several irregularities and instances of thuggery and violence that occurred.
Should we find ultimately that the irregularities and wrongful actions were not sufficiently material to alter the outcome, we shall do the honourable thing and respect what is announced. Should we find ultimately that the irregularities and wrongful actions materially altered the result, we shall contest the transgression as is our right and duty in a democracy.
“We are prepared to lose elections if the contest is free and the process is fair and transparent. We know that in this manner, our democracy is strengthened. On the opposite side of the spectrum, other people are trying to pressure us to concede defeat as if all was perfect with the election.
They do so not because they love democracy but because they are all political opponents of our party. Their interests are not in justice but in appearing to be concerned about justice.”
“We also wish to state that we would protect and defend members of our party from harassment and intimidation currently going on. We are also appreciative of our candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu and the entire party for an inspiring effort in the election.”