Enugu: Ugwuanyi votes, Ayogu Eze, supporters protest

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IT was a tale of two candidates in the governorship and houses of Assembly polls in Enugu on Saturday. The All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate Senator Ayogu Eze and his supporters refused to vote, while the incumbent governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (PDP), voted, declaring, “it will end in praise.”

After casting his vote at the Amube polling unit, in Oba, Udenu Local Government Area, Ugwuanyi told reporters that, “Enugu is in the hands of God.” 

Meanwhile, in Umuida, Enugu Ezike, in Igboeze North Local Government Area, a different scenario was playing out. Ayogu Eze’s country home was besieged by angry youths. Their anger was that Eze’s name was not on the list of candidates for the governorship election.

Explaining the development to reporters, The Senator said: “Our supporters feel that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has treated them  unfairly. I have pleaded with them to go to the polls and vote but they insist they do not have anybody to vote for.” 

Ayogu, who had not cast his vote, as at midday, said, “They would not even all me to go and vote. If they let me, I might just go and vote.” That statement, was the cue for the supporters to chant repeatedly, “INEC restore his name.” 

According to Eze, INEC removed his name after a lower court nullified his candidacy. But the Appeal Court quashed that ruling and ordered INEC to reinstate him as the party’s candidate. But Ayogu insisted that INEC was required to reinstate him, “at least one week to the election. My name was not on the list of governorship candidates, even now.”

He said that his supporters “are asking the INEC to bring back my name in other to have a free and fair election in the state.

“There can’t be an election when it is only the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) supporters that are voting.

“We have gone to court and got a judgment asking INEC to restore my name. As at today, my name is not on INEC website. You will find the names of other party aspirants there.

“INEC has created confusion by this. They have created disillusionment, disenchantment and this is why my supporters decided not to go to the polls.”

One of the supporter said: “We didn’t boycott the elections because we feel that if the right thing is done, we will vote. If his name was on the ballot paper, we will vote. We asked INEC to restore his name so we can vote. It is inec that has disenfranchised us.”

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