The Peoples Democratic Party has said it decided not to challenge the outcome of the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State to enable it to focus on rebuilding the party and providing a credible opposition.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had on November 10 declared a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Prof Charles Soludo, as the winner of the election.
INEC said the candidate of the PDP, Valentine Ozigbo, came second with 53,807 votes behind Soludo who polled 112,229 votes.
It said Senator Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress got 43,285 votes while Senator Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressive Party polled 21,261 votes to come third and fourth, respectively.
Not satisfied with the result of the poll, Uba filed a petition before the Anambra State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.
But the State Secretary of the PDP, Chukwuebuka Okolie-Akirika, said though the election was marred by failure of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, the party did not believe in heating the polity.
“We don’t believe in heating the polity unnecessarily. What happened was unfortunate. The Bimodal Voter Accreditation System failed extensively on that day.
“We decided to take it in good faith and concentrate on rebuilding and offer Ndi Anambra the opportunity to constructively engage the incoming government by offering credible and alternative opposition so that in the fullness of time, people would have the opportunity to know that the PDP would have done better than APGA,” Okolie-Akirika said.
He further said, “In essence, we don’t want to go to the tribunal. Ndi Anambra have spoken. Rightly or wrongly, so be it.
“So, what we have resolved to do is to put our house in order, get ready for the next general elections and provide an alternative government for Ndi Anambra through constructive criticism.”
The party’s state secretary, however, advised Soludo to concentrate more on change than continuity.
The PDP state secretary said, “He should concentrate on changing the bad aspects or policies of the incumbent government, especially financial rascality and imprudence, and make sure that policies that touch the lives of Ndi Anambra were given priority over projects that cannot be achieved.
“He shouldn’t be carried away by projects like building an international conference centre when for the past eight years, there was no international event in Anambra State. There are so many hotels. Why is the government spending scarce resources to build an ICC?”
He further urged the governor-elect to reduce the cost of governance and mould his administration’s programmes in line with the sustainable development goals in the interest of people of the state.
“The incoming governor should endeavour to concentrate on projects that will impact meaningfully on the lives of Ndi Anambra. Anambra is not known for political patronage.
“We are known for pursuing policies that will benefit Ndi Anambra and not having people who go about as the governor’s SAs and PAs without doing anything that will affect the lives of the people.
“Let Soludo’s programmes be patterned after verifiable development goals so that our foreign partners can come to Anambra State,” Okolie-Akirika added.