Chimaobi Ifeanyichukwu Ebisike of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has been declared winner of the Aba North/South Federal Constituency bye-election for defeating the younger brother to the former governor Orji Uzor Kalu.
Result of the election, which was held Saturday, was announced early hours of Sunday by the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) Returning Officer for the exercise, Professor Fidelis Okpata. He declared that Ebisike polled 10,322 votes to defeat the All Progressives Congress, (APC), candidate, Mascot Uzor Kalu, who scored 3,674 votes.
Mascot is the younger brother of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu who is currently representing Abia North senatorial district in the Red Chamber. Ossy Prestige of APGA was the representative of the constituency but he died on February 6 2020, necessitating the by-election.
The entrance of Kalu’s dynasty into the race sent jitters into the spine of other contestants, especially the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). However Ebisike remained resolute. With the backing of the governor and other powers that be in the state.
He exuded confidence about his chances of winning the election.
Knowing the caliber of the Kalu political dynasty will help one understand the feat achieved by Mr. Chimaobi Ebisike. Orji Uzor Kalu was the former governor of Abia State who ruled the state for two consecutive tenures of 8 years. His brother, Mascot was the Chief of Staff to him. Along the line, another of his younger brothers, Nnanna Uzor Kalu was elected to represent the Bende/Isiukwuato federal constituency.
Orji Kalu is accused by many of hijacking the APC ticket for Mascot his younger brother, a development condemned by many Abians who questioned why Orji Uzor Kalu wanted to hijack every political position in the state to his family. Even some APC members in the state openly condemned the action and saw it as an albatross for the APC in the election. More so, the fact that the Kalu’s are not ancestral indigenes of the Aba federal constituency made Aba/Ngwa people to see it as an affront for the former governor to attempt imposing his brother on them, even when the governor of the state hails from the area.
Meanwhile with the result of the election, it has been congratulations galore for Chimaobi Ebisike. In his congratulatory message to him, the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, described the victory as a clear endorsement of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s giant strides in infrastructural development of Aba.
The Speaker who said this in a statement made available to the media on Sunday in Umuahia, expressed appreciation to Abians, especially the youths who were adequately mobilized for the election by party stakeholders. He said they worked in synergy with the party structure.
“I therefore congratulate the Governor, the Deputy Governor, Members of the PDP in the State House of Assembly, stakeholders of the PDP in Aba Federal Constituency and particularly the youths of Enyimba City for a job well done”, he said.
Also joining in congratulating and celebrating the victory of Ebisike is the Chancellor of Gregory University Uturu, Prof. Gregory Ibe, who described it as a resounding victory.
He said he was not surprised at the huge margin of lead by the PDP candidate, given the eloquent infrastructural development the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has put in place in Aba. “It is only normal that the people of Aba reciprocated such infrastructural gestures by voting the PDP” he added.
Mascot promised not to challenge outcome of the bye-election
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mascot Kalu, said he has accepted the result of the poll.
Reacting to the outcome of the poll, Mr. 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 reporters 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, Orji Kalu, decried the level of “thuggery, violence and rigging” that allegedly characterized the poll.
He stated that the “unfortunate development” called for “a deeper review of our electoral laws”. “Every country is peculiar to its 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.
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 said.