- Says 1.6m votes claim ridiculous
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to go ahead with its threat to approach the court to stop the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The ruling party has also described as utterly ridiculous, the claim by the PDP that it won the presidential election with 1.6 million votes, saying the main opposition is still hallucinating over its defeat.
One of the APC governors seeking re-election, Alhaji Muhammed Abubakar of Bauchi State, had obtained a court injunction stopping the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from continuing with the collation of the results of the governorship election in the state.
Following this development, the main opposition party said in a statement on Tuesday that it might be forced to tow a similar line by going to court to prevent the inauguration of Buhari on May 29.
Reacting to the threat, the ruling party challenged the PDP to exercise its fundamental right to sue the ruling party.
The National Publicity Secretary of APC, Mallam Lanre Isa-Onilu, who spoke to THISDAY, said it was up to the PDP to carry out their threat and see if the court would grant their plea.
“It is within their right to go to the court and it is up to the court to consider the merit of their case. We don’t see that as a big deal that they should be going back and forth on,” the APC said.
On the claim that APC is employing court injunctions to scuttle INEC’s result collation, the party’s spokesman said there was nothing wrong in their members going to the courts to ventilate their grievances.
The party explained: “It is within our right to go to court and it is also within the right of the PDP to go to the same court if it feels aggrieved. At the same time, it is also within the responsibility and mandate of the court to consider the merit or otherwise of the case and issue judgment.
“I don’t think the PDP’s threat is a big deal, if they are worried about our going to court, what other option would they recommend? Any time we feel that we should use the judiciary to stop anybody from encroaching on our rights, we will go to court.”
PDP Still Hallucinating over Defeat, Says APC
Meanwhile, the APC has described as utterly ridiculous, the claim by the PDP that it won the presidential election with 1.6 million votes.
The ruling party said that the PDP’s claim that the figure it was brandishing emanated from the server of INEC was an indication that the opposition party is up for some dastard activities that are targeted at jeopardising the INEC database and internal storage system.Isa-Onilu said in a statement issued Wednesday that the claim was part of PDP’s antics to discredit the credible presidential electoral process, which was acknowledged by local and international observers.
He added that with the manner the PDP was brandishing figures allegedly obtained from INEC’s server, it would be necessary for INEC and security agencies to be on alert.
“We call on the INEC and the security agencies to be on red alert to ensure that Atiku and the other desperate characters in the PDP are not able to execute their evil plans,” it said.
APC added that of all the prayers of Atiku before the election tribunal, which are at best hollow, the most ridiculous is his claim that the server of the INEC indicated he won the presidential election by 1.6 million votes.
The party also said that as far as it is concerned the vast majority of Nigerians have reaffirmed their unshaken belief in President Buhari to continue to steer the affairs of the country for another four years.
APC said: “We have watched in disbelief and utter amusement how the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, have engaged in series of circus shows to cheer up their crestfallen and disillusioned members.
“While the APC is not oblivious of the PDP’s antics to discredit the credible presidential electoral process, acknowledged by local and international observers, we sympathise with Atiku for the crushing defeat handed him by President Buhari through the votes of Nigerians
“Most importantly, we note Atiku’s consistent reference to the INEC server as if he is the custodian of that platform. Indeed, Atiku’s constant reference to the INEC’s server should raise concerns as it is becoming apparent that he and the PDP are up for some dastard activities that are targeted at jeopardising the INEC database and internal storage system.
“We recall the widespread reported cases of several programmed card readers that were retrieved from some PDP agents and their failed attempt to hack the INEC’s database in the lead up to the then postponed presidential election.”
APC added that judging by Atiku and PDP’s recent utterances and actions, “it was now clear that they have slipped into severe depression and post-defeat hallucination that have left many Nigerians questioning their current state of mind.’’
APC said that it took weeks of dilly-dallying, for the PDP to wake up to the stark reality of its electoral defeat and for it to follow the constitutional path of filing a petition at the election tribunal.