Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday described the European Union (EU) report on the 2019 general election as a vindication of the perception that the February 23 presidential election was rigged to favour President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the revelations of manipulations as detailed in the EU report further validated queries by Nigerians that Buhari was not validly returned for a second term in office.
“The world can now see that the PDP has not been crying wolf in insisting that the election was rigged with the cancellation of millions of PDP votes, alteration of results and allocation of fictitious votes to the APC.
“Nigerians are still in shock over the revelations by EU of how about 2.8 million votes were deliberately “cancelled without sufficient accountability” and how several returning officers gave no reason for the cancellations.
“More shocking is the iniquity committed at the national collation centre, headed by the INEC chairman, where the EU report exposed inconsistent numbers, distortions and a large discrepancy of 1.66 million more registered voters, as announced by INEC on 14 January, compared to those announced by state returning officers during the collation of presidential results,” the main opposition party stated.
PDP added that Nigerians witnessed on national television how professors and returning officers were unable to reconcile result figures due to heavy manipulations upon which INEC declared the APC winner.
It said the EU report had further exposed the iniquity committed by the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC by listing how ballot boxes were compromised, how essential materials were missing, how voter register was not always ticked as required and how manual authentication procedures were not correctly followed.
“The report also bared how figures on result forms did not reconcile, how result forms were not publicly posted, how result forms and smart card readers were not packed in tamper-evident envelopes as required, in addition to how the APC administration used security forces to intimidate voters, aid violence against our members and muscled votes for the APC,” the opposition party added.
The PDP commended the EU for the courage in exposing the evils committed by the APC and INEC in the 2019 general election, saying the report has further reinforced the confidence of millions of Nigerians in their collective expectation of justice in the quest to retrieve our stolen presidential mandate at the tribunal.
The PDP said those in INEC who perpetrated such crime against the nation, in sabotaging the sanctity of our electoral processes to frustrate the choice of Nigerians in a presidential election, must be brought to book and made to face the wrath of the law.
It urged Nigerians to remain calm as the truth about the election continues to unfold while justice takes its course on the matter.