Ahead of next week’s presidential poll, Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has warned President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), that any attempt to rig the election will attract people’s wrath.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Friday by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, the PDP Presidential Candidate said the people’s anger will surely descend on anyone or any party that attempts to thwart the will of voters on February 16.
Atiku said the warning had become necessary because the ruling APC had been boasting about how it already had 12 million votes in the kitty even before votes were cast and in spite of the huge acceptance of the PDP across the country as exemplified by the massive turnout at the PDP rally in the President’s home state of Katsina.
The ruling All Progressives Congress reportedly claimed on Thursday that President Buhari had “12 million voters that have been with them over the years”.
Atiku however queried: “But ask yourself this: have you met anyone who has said “I made a big mistake not voting Buhari in 2015 and I will make sure I vote for him in 2019”? Such a person does not exist anywhere in this planet (apart from Niger republic). So we can confidently assume that they will get no new votes.”
Atiku added: “Based on the result of the poll by Williams and Associates, Nigerians see that the percentage of voters who have indicated their interest to vote in next week’s election has gone up 17.4% (from 63% in 2015 to 74% in 2019), representing a 11% increase in voter turnout against what it was in 2015. When we apply this to the 2019 registered voter base of 84 million we get to a total of 40.4 million votes to be cast on February 16.”
He explained that even if it was assumed that Buhari’s 12 million votes had not been depleted, then he would get 29.7% of the estimated 40.4 million 2019 vote which makes it impossible for him to win the election.
Expatiating on the Williams and Associates poll, Atiku said even in the highly unlikely event that other candidates in the presidential race get a total of 3 million votes then that would mean Atiku would get 25.4m votes (40.4m – 12m – 3m) which would give him a 63% share of the vote by the APC’s own reckoning.
The PDP Presidential Candidate said that it would be impossible for any party even in Soviet era Russia to rig an election on the scale it would take to overturn this result.
“We also note that the Williams & Associates poll not only predicted an Atiku win, but it demonstrated in unmistaken terms that 42% more Nigerians believe that Atiku will be the next president over Buhari,” Atiku said.
According to the forecast by Williams and Associates, “the majority of voters in Buhari’s own geopolitical zone of the north-west believe Atiku will win, as do the voters in every other single geopolitical region, every age group and every religion”.
The pollster said the belief that Atiku will win by a landslide also holds true amongst APC supporters by a margin of 56% to 38%, showing even amongst Buhari’s own faithful believe he would be defeated.
Atiku therefore implored voters to come out on election day and ensure that yheir votes coibt.
“I urge you to go out and vote, bring our friends and family and endeavor to remain behind until all the votes are counted and the results are announced to ensure that their votes count,” he said.
The former vice president also said: “Muhammadu Buhari you gained power via free and fair elections under the auspices of a PDP President who also stood down peacefully when the result was announced. I trust you will show the Nigerian people the respect to do the same in just one week’s time.”