The Kwara State candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the just concluded Ilorin West/Asa Federal Constituency election, Alhaji Ibrahim Muhammad Ajia has expressed his readiness to discontinue the petition he filed against the victory of the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Muktar Tolani Shagaya
Ajia, had made his intention known in a statement he personally signed and made available to newsmen in Ilorin on Friday.
The PDP is challenging the emergency of Shagaya of the APC as the duly elected member of National House of Representatives in the February 25 election.
The National Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared APC candidate the winner of the said contest, having polled a total vote of 59,019 to defeat his closest contestant, Ajia of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP who got a total of 45,172 votes.
According to the statement, Ajia said “I wish to discontinue the legal process we have instituted at the tribunal, against our opponent, APC and INEC”.
The statement reads: “Let me start by appreciating our party faithful, teaming supporters, and the good people of Ilorin-West/Asa Federal Constituency who came out en mass and voted for us on the 25th of February 2023, to represent them at the House of Representatives. I will remain eternally grateful for your love, support and solidarity.
“It is unfortunate that the result declared by the INEC was neither the will nor the expectations of our people. And in response to the wishes and desires of our people to reclaim the mandate they freely given to us, we immediately rejected the result and assembled a team of lawyers to review the results and commence necessary legal actions. After we briefed our lawyers, they filed an ex-parte motion for an order to compel INEC to allow us access to the electoral materials including the BVAS report.
“Unfortunately, the panel members were nowhere to be found. It took eight days after we filed our case for the panel to arrive to grant us the ex-parte order.
“Despite the delay in granting our order, INEC refused to obey the order, up till this moment. That has limited the capacity of our legal team to present a robust case towards reclaiming our mandate.
“From the foregoing, we can see clear signs of collusion between INEC, APC and perhaps other authorities we may not know. But to keep the hope of our supporters alive, we filed our case inspite of many difficulties and challenges our legal team encountered in the process.
“We have had representations and expressions of deep concern by a lot of people about the apparent connivance between the APC and INEC and how that will impact the legal process. My immediate family has also expressed worries about the diminishing possibility of an impartial legal process and urged me to let it go.
“More importantly, as a strong believer and a true Muslim, I believe that it is the Almighty Allah that gives Power and to whom he wishes at the appointed time.
“As a progressive politician, my utmost desire is for our people to be served and represented effectively. I therefore wouldn’t want to create excuses for the purportedly declared winner by INEC that he was distracted by the legal contest when he fails.
“Also, considering that this is the Holy month of Ramadan, I have deeply reflected on one of the lessons of Ramadan which is the spirit of forgiveness and wish to discontinue the legal process we have instituted at the tribunal, against our opponent, APC and INEC.
“I want to state, very categorically, that we are doing this not because we are expecting any consideration or gain from our opponent or his party but for the sake of God Almighty, the progress of our Constituency and our State. However, we will not be deterred by this temporary setback in pursuing our set goals of making life more meaningful for our people. This we will continue to do through our Foundation and other engagements with various organisations and institutions we have contacts with. We will hold the government at all levels accountable to ensure that our people are not shortchanged in any way.
“Once again, I thank most sincerely, the good people of Ilorin-West/Asa Federal constituency for the support we enjoyed throughout the campaigns. I will never let you down, I promise.
“I thank the leader of our great party in Kwara State, Senator Bukola Saraki for all his mentorship and support throughout our campaign”, the statement said.