Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Deputy National Chairman (South) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Segun Oni, has rejected the claim by a statesman, Tanko Yakassai, that the North in 2015 took advantage of the malfunctioning card readers to rig the elections in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Yakassai, who is the chairman of the Northern Leaders and Stakeholdersâ€™ Assembly (NLSA), had led his group to meet with former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), at the weekend and had informed his host that the 2015 elections were rigged in the North because the card readers used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) malfunctioned and had to be discarded for manual voting while those in the South worked and were used in the polls.
Reacting yesterday, Oni, who is also seeking the ticket of the party to contest the forthcoming governorship election in Ekiti State, dismissed Yakassaiâ€™s claim as untrue, describing his position as nothing but an afterthought.
Addressing reporters yesterday in Abuja when he came to the secretariat of the APC to pick his nomination form ahead of the partyâ€™s governorship primary, Oni said Nigerians actually rejected the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government at the polls in 2015.
Oni said: â€œI want to say that it is not true. The card reader cannot rig elections. Human beings can rig elections not card readers. I must say that when people are looking for ways to justify their inadequacies, they will look for failures, they will look for faults, so the card reader has suddenly become one.
â€œThe truth is that the people of Nigeria voted overwhelmingly for President Buhari. The people of Nigeria were tired of the PDP, the people of Nigeria were clearly embarrassed by a government that was not just pilfering, it went to the extent of even stealing what was supposed to be the source of its own wealth.
â€œThey were stealing oil and they were selling it into individual pocket. Have you ever heard that? So, if we had a government that was reckless, a government of a president of all us, declaring that stealing is not corruption.â€
According to the APC chieftain: â€œA government that clearly showed that it was clueless, which had nothing to contribute and it was probably tired and the people of Nigeria went on to vote that government out.
â€œAnd now, people are now waking up from their slumber and trying to posit reasons why they lost. They lost because people decided that it was time to go,â€ Oni stated.
Meanwhile, another aspirant and son of a former governor of Ekiti state, Muyiwa Olumilua, said there was need for good governance in Ekiti, adding that though the state was blessed with great potential, it is one of the poorest in the country.
He said good governance has to do with having the right persons in government, noting that Ekiti would become the envy of other states in terms of development if he is given the opportunity to govern it.
He said his administration, if voted in, would resuscitate the hailing health facilities in the state and make healthcare more affordable for the people.
The aspirant added that he would give education, agriculture and the stateâ€™s economy priority if elected.