Osita Chidoka, the governorship candidate of the United Progressives Party (UPP) in the Anambra state governorship election, has accepted defeat, even as results are still being announced by the INEC.
Chidoka said he lost because he was approached and told to pay voters for their votes, but he refused.
He said the choice of Obiano was an indication that the people preferred the highest bidder against those with ideas.
“Our campaign attracted the finest and brightest of Anambra. The bold and the courageous were with us as we exerted our best in running the most robust issue-based and technology-driven campaign in the history of our dear state.
“We attempted to change the course of events and chart a new beginning for our state. We believed and we dared; we engaged with all patriotic vigour, as we held strongly that the long awaited time for our people to experience a new opportunity had come and we labored for it.
“In all, our focus was the people; the forgotten, the poor and the disadvantaged. They were the prime impetus for our involvement. We beheld their agony and we strived to redirect and vent that energy through a genuine political process. We heard the complaints of our people and we worked to redirect them from the streets to the ballot box.
“Upon that pedestal, we rejected god-fatherism and money politics. Instead, we made personal sacrifices and worked with small donations and goodwill of a few good men and women. Our campaign started and remained issues-based. We attacked no persons; we looked up in faith because we believed.
“But from the ballots, we heard the voice of our people. We heard it loud and clear. On November 18 our people announced strongly their rejection of politicians. They traded their votes because they doubted we would truly represent their interest. While our message resonated with the people, they doubted that the political class cared about them. They voted for the highest bidder.
“When by Thursday a large percentage of our supporters insisted that they will not vote unless we paid, I insisted we will not pay for votes. The decision not to pay ended our good run. We accept the voters’ decision.
“We also heard our people, by their turnout and transactional approach, as they took sides with our Party’s considered view that the issue of justice, equity and fairness should be canvassed within Nigeria.
In all, we hold our heads high; high because we did not lose the poll due to paucity of ideas or lack of “structure”. We lost to superior financial firepower. As Democrats, we concede to the voters’ choices. The true hallmark of democracy is the respect for the voice of the ballot as that of the majority,” Chidoka said.