Singer and federal legislative aspirant Bankole Wellington, more popularly known as Banky W, on Wednesday, welcomed the ruling of the Election Petitions Tribunal ordering a rerun in the Eti-Osa Federal Constituency in Lagos State, describing it as a miracle that he is afforded a second chance.
“For me personally, it’s a miracle in and of itself that we get another chance to finish the election,” said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, who made a live appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“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.”
The judgement delivered on Monday nullified the victory of Mr Thaddeus Atta of the Labour Party, declaring the election inconclusive, and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a supplementary election within 90 days in 33 polling units where elections did not hold.
This followed petitions filed by Wellington who emerged as runner-up and Ibrahim Babajide Obanikoro (IBO) of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“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.
The musician-turned-politician cited instances of violence and voter suppression in certain areas, whereas INEC officers did not show up at some voting locations.
He also called back to the moments following voting on February 25, saying he joined “hundreds, if not almost a thousand” protesters at the collation centre.
“I am particularly grateful that the courts decided that every vote deserves to be counted and every voice deserves to be heard, regardless of who you’re voting for,” he said.
Earlier this year, Atta scored 24,075 votes in the Eti-Osa legislative election to emerge as the winner, while Banky W and IBO were said to have scored 18,668 and 16,901 votes, respectively.