The INEC resident electoral commissioner for Edo State, Obo Effanga, has appealed to the electorate not to pull down institutions and structures of democracy simply because some of the outcomes of the just concluded elections are different from their expectations.

Effanga made this appeal in Benin City on Friday during the presentation of  Certificates of Return to members-elect of the Edo State House of Assembly.

Effanga said true democrats must realise that in an election involving many political parties, there is a higher chance of losing than winning the election and they must prepare their minds to such possibilities and live with the outcome.

He added that where they disagree with the outcomes, they must follow the proper channels for seeking redress, noting that “we should not pull down everything, including the institutions and structures of democracy simply because the outcome is different from our expectations. True democrats look for legitimate ways to expand the frontiers of democracy. They do so by building on the good that exists, rather than destroying the fabrics. Let us learn to build up and not destroy.”

He challenges the lawmakers and politicians to rise above what he called blind allegiance to political parties saying that membership of political parties in our climes is very fluid, transient and without core values and principles, adding that lawmakers should equally raise their game above the politics of allegiance to persons and other interests who may influence them to act even against the interest of their constituencies and the state or country.

He said though our democratic journey has witnessed some turbulent times, there have been some good times and experiences along this journey, especially the uninterrupted nature of this very trip of nearly 24 years, adding that the country has recorded a large number of voters whose life experiences are happily limited only to a government by elected representatives, which is what democracy represents. Thus, democracy has become a norm in our country. That in itself, according to the REC, is something to celebrate and build upon.

On the part of INEC, Effanga said the electoral umpire will keep learning from experiences and shortcomings and improving on our processes with every election, appealing to the political class to help strengthen the independence and capabilities of the State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) to conduct local government elections, which, he said, will help to create grassroots democrats.

Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), arising from the March 18, 2023 state house of assembly elections, announced results of 21 seats out of the 24 declaring declared 3 seats in Egor, Oredo East, and Ovia South West constituencies inconclusive.

Supplementary election in the affected areas will be conducted on Saturday, 15th April 2023 according to the announcement earlier made by INEC.

The breakdown of the winners shows that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has 12 seats, APC 8 seats and LP 1 seat.

Below are the names of the 21 Members-elect who received their Certificates of return today: