A House of Representatives hopeful and artiste, Bankole Wellington, popularly known as Banky W, on Wednesday, expressed his gratitude for the Election Petitions Tribunal ruling that ordered a rerun in the Eti-Osa Federal Constituency in Lagos State.
In the February 2023 election, the Independent National Electoral Commission declared the Labour Party’s candidate, Mr. Thaddeus Atta, as the winner of the poll with 24,075 votes, while Wellington and Obanikoro had18,668 and 16,901 votes, respectively.
Following the results of the election, Wellington, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, and Ibrahim Obanikoro of the All Progressives Congress filed petitions challenging the election results.
The tribunal, in its judgment on Monday, declared the February election inconclusive and ordered INEC to conduct a supplementary election within 90 days in 33 polling units where elections did not hold.
Wellington, while appearing on Channels Television’s Politics Today.programme, said, “For me personally, it’s a miracle in and of itself that we get another chance to finish the election.
“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.”
“People were really frustrated that they didn’t get a chance to participate in that election. And I think that that’s important,” Wellington said.
“It’s an important thing for our democracy that people are not prevented from exercising their constitutional rights to participate in an election.”
The 42-year-old decried that there were over 30 polling units with “almost 30,000 voters” who were ready to vote but were prevented from exercising their franchise.
Wellington noted instances of violence and voter suppression in certain areas, whereas INEC officers did not show up at some voting locations.
He said, “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.”