From Joseph Obukata, Warri
The European Union will on Tuesday, March 28, hear the complaint of Nigerian-born Netherlands-based environmental-political rights activist, Sunny Ofehe, on the allegedly rigged Delta State governorship election in which he participated as the candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP).
Ofehe, in a terse statement on Monday, said that the EU has agreed to accept his complaint over the election which he alleged was rigged by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the All Progressives Congress in connivance with some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Dr Ofehe had at a press conference in Abuja, claimed that the election in Delta which he participated in was laced with financial inducement, ballot paper snatching and all forms of manipulations, lamenting that the exercise was an embarrassment to the most populous black nations of the world.
In what he described as ‘selection’ and not ‘election’, Ofehe said, the international community was interested in Nigeria’s election more than any country because of the population and the need for Nigeria to set a democratic example, but that the financial investments of the European Union, EU, United Nations and other foreign nations into the exercise have been a waste, given the fraud he claimed to have witnessed.
Announcing that he has secured the EU nod to bring his complaint before the international community, Ofehe said, “As you all know, the “selection” not election for the Delta State Governorship race has come and gone. The highest bidder in the fraudulent vote buying and voters intimidation exercise has been declared; the PDP! The “mighty” APC couldn’t match PDP in the vote-buying process because the PDP had the State treasury to loot from whereas the APC needed National patronage, which was no match. The outcome was clear!
“Everyone here who took part or witnessed the exercise saw what happened in all the units across the State. Money was paid to get votes, unit results were changed, and where people stood not to be intimidated. They were forced to flee or the unit destroyed.
“In order to ensure that our voices are heard beyond the shores of Nigeria, I had a national press conference in Abuja. I promised to channel our complaints back to the European Union in Brussels.
“I am happy to inform you that the EU has agreed to accept my complaint officially in Brussels, Belgium, tomorrow, Tuesday, March 28th, 2023. As promised, I will plead the case for the EU to see the Nigerian election as just a mere monitoring and statement-issuing situation”, the statement reads.
On why he would not approach the election tribunal as enshrined in the Constitution and Electoral Act as amended, Ofehe who is based in Europe before coming to participate in the election expressed disbelief in Nigerian Courts, insisting that he will act differently using international instruments to ensure that the next election in 2027 would not be a ruse.