Popular artiste and House of Representatives hopeful, Bankole Wellington, widely known as Banky W, has expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the recent decision by the Election Petitions Tribunal that has ordered a rerun election in the Eti-Osa Federal Constituency in Lagos State.
This development follows the tribunal’s declaration that the February 2023 election in the constituency was inconclusive.
In the original election results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr. Thaddeus Atta of the Labour Party was declared the winner with 24,075 votes, while Banky W, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), secured 18,668 votes, and Ibrahim Obanikoro of the All Progressives Congress (APC) received 16,901 votes.
Banky W, alongside Ibrahim Obanikoro, promptly filed petitions contesting the election results, citing various irregularities in the conduct of the election.
The Election Petitions Tribunal, in its judgment issued on Monday, upheld the petitions and declared the February election in Eti-Osa Federal Constituency inconclusive. The tribunal has ordered INEC to organize a supplementary election within 90 days in 33 polling units where elections were not conducted as required.
Banky W, who appeared on Channels Television’s “Politics Today” program, expressed his gratitude for the tribunal’s decision, which he considers a second chance to complete the election process.
“For me personally, it’s a miracle in and of itself that we get another chance to finish the election,” Banky W remarked during the interview. “I think it’s a testament to the power of perseverance, the power of faith, and the collective will of the people who want to participate in the rebuilding of this democracy.”
He further highlighted the frustration of voters who were denied the opportunity to participate in the initial election. “People were really frustrated that they didn’t get a chance to participate in that election. And I think that’s important,” Banky W emphasized.
“It’s an important thing for our democracy that people are not prevented from exercising their constitutional rights to participate in an election.”
Banky W also lamented the existence of over 30 polling units with nearly 30,000 registered voters who were ready to cast their ballots but were obstructed from exercising their franchise. He cited instances of violence and voter suppression in certain areas, while some INEC officers failed to show up at voting locations.
“I am particularly grateful that the court decided that every vote deserves to be counted and every voice deserves to be heard, regardless of who you’re voting for,” Banky W concluded.
The forthcoming supplementary election is anticipated to provide the residents of Eti-Osa Federal Constituency with a renewed opportunity to participate in the democratic process and ensure their voices are heard.
As the constituency prepares for this significant electoral event, Banky W remains dedicated to the cause of upholding democracy and ensuring that every vote counts.