By Leonard Okachie
Mascot Kalu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Saturday’s Aba North/Aba South Federal Constituency bye-election, says he has accepted the result of the poll.
Kalu came a distant second with 3,674 votes to trail behind the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Chimaobi Ebisike, who polled 10,592 to emerge winner of the exercise.
The Returning Officer, Prof. Fidelis Okpata, announced the result of the poll at about midnight of Saturday.
The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Mr Destiny Nwagwu, polled 1,584 to occupy the third position.
Reacting to the outcome of the poll, Kalu ruled out legal action to challenge the result but noted that he had enough evidence to do so.
In a message he circulated to newsmen in Abia, he stated: “Even though we have enough evidence to reclaim our mandate, we won’t be going to court.
“This is to allow the winner to concentrate and provide good representation and infrastructure to the good people of Aba.
“Once again, I thank the Aba people for coming out en masse to vote for the APC and I congratulate the winner, Chimaobi Ebisike and PDP.
“It is not because they won but because it is gentlemanly to do so.”
Kalu, who is the younger brother of the Chief Whip of the Senate and former Abia governor, Sen. Orji Kalu, decried the level of thuggery, violence and rigging that allegedly characterised the poll.
He statedtated that the unfortunate development called for “a deeper review of our electoral laws.
“Every country is peculiar to it’s people. Nigerians should support the electoral law being amended because it will help us to strengthen our democracy.
“The Electoral Act as it is renders the security agencies with arms weak in the face of violence at the polls and therefore needs a revisit,” Kalu added.
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He stated that the election was over and appealed to APC members and his supporters “to accept the outcome of the election in good faith.
“While the opposition wanted the election at all cost, we chose life over bloodshed and therefore won lives and lost the polls. To us, that was a greater victory,” he further stated.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission conducted a bye-election in the constituency to replace late Rep. Prestige Ossy, who died in Germany in February.