The Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Cross River has said although the Peoples Democratic Party-led government massively rigged the election, dragging Governor Ben Ayade to election petition tribunal would mean glorifying ‘an auction’ of the state by the government through a sham election.
The party’s governorship candidate in the polls, Eyo Ekpo, in a press statement alleged that the state government utilised public funds to satisfy bloated egos and inordinate political ambitions of individuals but that despite these infractions, he would not provide cannon fodder for lawyers and as such would look to the future.
The statement read in part: “The events of Saturday, 9th March, in Cross River State cannot in anyway be described as an “election”. They were in reality, an “auction”; a bidding war in which public funds were deployed not for the benefit of the citizenry but to satisfy bloated egos and inordinate political ambitions.
“I will not provide cannon fodder for lawyers and rumour mongers by going to an election tribunal. Instead, I will look to the future and join to pray that governor Ben Ayade’s second tenure will be much better than the first; so that sooner rather than later, our beloved state shall be firmly placed once again on the path of steady growth and development in an atmosphere of high quality governance and well-secured, lasting peace,” he stated.
He explained that the party had within the period laid before the people of the state a blueprint for recovering and restoring Cross River and that Cross Riverians had appreciated and bought into their ‘Recover and Restore programme.’
“Sadly, the popular will was intimidated, subverted and cast aside by vote buying, multiple thumb printing, violence, intimidation and enough malpractices to make a voluminous text, all with election officials looking on helplessly, or in many cases actively collaborating.