- PDP mocks APC national chairman for loss of Edo
- Afenifere, northern elders allege fraud in presidential, N’Assembly polls
Onyebuchi Ezigbo and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, has said the ruling party is looking forward to meeting the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in court over the outcome of last Saturday’s presidential election won by its candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari.
Aggrieved by the outcome of the presidential election, Atiku had described it as the worst in 30 years and vowed to challenge it.
But speaking to journalists in Abuja, the APC chairman said: “From day one, Atiku made up his mind that unless he wins, the election is not free and fair and it is only free and fair if he is returned as the candidate.”
Oshiomhole stated that Atiku was free to go to court.
“You cannot possibly deny anyone the right to challenge the outcome of an election however free and fair… like myself when I believed I was cheated out,” Oshiomhole said yesterday during the briefing.
He added: “If you have cause to dispute the outcome of an election, the only lawful way open to you is to go to court.
“So, we hope and we are looking forward to meeting Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in court and the facts will be laid bare but if I might dare him, we might also choose to cross-petition.”
Speaking further, Oshiomhole criticised Atiku over his comments about investors pulling out of Nigeria following his loss, as well as other previous comments.
With a winning margin of 3.9 million votes against him, Atiku had maintained that when the results are calmly looked at, the numbers declared by the electoral umpire do not add up.
He argued that “in Akwa-Ibom for instance, the results showed a statistical impossibility of a 62 per cent drop in voter numbers from the 2015 elections even where voter registration and PVC collection rates were much higher than in 2015,” a pattern he said was repeated in strongholds of the PDP, including in Delta, Rivers, Abia and Benue States.
In response, however, Oshiomhole said Atiku was never destined to be president, describing his comments as being fraught with arrogance.
He said: “Atiku’s desperation is so obvious. He is so desperate that in 2003, he challenged his own boss, Obasanjo. He decamped to join ACN and we offered him the ticket and he lost the election and returned to PDP.
“He contested again and lost the nomination and because he has only his interest at heart, he decamped again from PDP.
“He joined us in Lagos and rolled out the dollars but we voted for Buhari as our candidate. He knew that he cannot defeat Buhari in the primary and went back to the PDP.
“Do you think that such a political rolling stone, does he think that Nigerians are so insincere as to think that a man who is not stable and whose interest is about himself will be a possible candidate to be elected?
“What makes him have that sense of entitlement that he must be President of Nigeria? You cannot deny anyone the right to dispute the outcome of an election however free and fair.
“So, we hope and we are looking forward to meeting Atiku Abubakar in court. We might also choose to also cross petition because there were many areas we can dispute.
“In Adamawa State, he had already lost the election before he did some magic that gave him that narrow victory in Adamawa State.”
Oshiomhole said the turnout of voters in the North-east especially in Borno State was a reflection of the substantial peace that has returned to the area.
He argued that if the former vice president does not know about the peace in the area, it could be because he does not go home regularly.
On Atiku’s statement that over N85 billion was lost immediately Buhari was declared winner of the presidential election, Oshiomhole said it was mere facts twisting.
“Citizens must hold their leaders accountable for their policy choices. So, if those depositors see that it will not be business as usual and decided to take their flight, we don’t even want them to come back. Nigeria needs genuine investors who have faith in our country with long term interest,” he said.
PDP Mocks Oshiomhole for Losing Edo
Reacting last night, the PDP mocked Oshiomhole for his failure to deliver his state, Edo, to his party in the presidential election.
Despite Buhari winning the general election, Atiku won in Edo State.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, at a press conference in Abuja said that Oshiomhole was not in the position to tell Nigerians who is electable or not.
Oshiomhole had claimed during his press conference that Atiku lost the election because he was not electable.
But Ologbondiyan stated categorically that Oshiomhole was not someone his party could be proud of given the way he had ran the ruling party, adding that neither Nigerians nor the opposition party took the APC’s boss or his utterances seriously.
“If truly the APC is a political party, it should bother them that they have a national chairman who woefully failed to deliver his state to his party,” he said adding: “He will go down in history as a national chairman, who could not conduct the affairs of his party very well. It is rather unfortunate.”
Afenifere, Northern Elders Allege Fraud in Presidential, N’Assembly Elections
Meanwhile, Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere and the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) have criticised the conduct of the elections, saying they were heavily manipulated.
Spokesman of NEF, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, told THISDAY that the presidential election was a repetition of the election of 2015, except that different issues played important roles in determining the outcome of each of the elections.
According to him, while the manipulation in 2015 election was based clearly on religion, ethnicity and sectionalism, as the two presidential candidates were from different zones and religion, the manipulation of 2019 presidential election was based on different issues.
He explained: “This time around, the strategy is still sectionalism, ethnicity and so on but the ethnicity did not play a strong role; religion did not play a strong role, but still, element of ethnicity played a role.
“The electoral commission is headed by someone appointed by Buhari and among them there are people who are closer to Buhari. They would not like him to lose. So, what happened is that they changed their strategy. What they did is to down the voting ability of areas where PDP are in control, which is known to be three geopolitical zones; South-east, South-south and North-central and also boost the voting strength of APC support base, which is North-east and South-west.”
Yakassai said he was concerned that politicians in the APC, who refer to themselves as progressives, despite being conservatives, had the media in their pockets.
Yakassai also alleged that vote buying and under aged voting took place in the north in the full view of security agents.
Also speaking to THISDAY on the outcome of the election, Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, alleged that the election was brazenly rigged and criminally aided by the military.
He said: “This is not an election. At everywhere the opposition is strong you go and create violence there and cancel the result and then you want to say that is a reliable result? If they had won openly, well, the people will have voted the government again but that is not under this circumstances. This is a criminally rigged election.
“We saw the stream of teenagers voting in the north, a youth corps member reporting that they didn’t allow anything voting; where there are two countries; they used card readers in south, not in the north and then you came with bulk votes. And you see any rational man that says that is an election. It is not acceptable!”.
According to Adebanjo, the fight to get Nigeria right is left to the younger generation from all over the country to emancipate themselves, saying: “Where the country is going now, I don’t know.”