- Says his disqualification by APC mere face-saving measure
Chuks Okocha in Abuja
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Thursday said the disqualification of the Cross River State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Frankland Briyai, by the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Bayelsa State governorship election is enough justification that the Resident Electoral Commissioner is a member of APC and indeed rigged the 2019 elections in favour of the ruling party.
He added that his disqualification is a face-saving measure by the APC.
This was disclosed to THISDAY by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan.
The PDP spokesperson told our correspondent that Briyai’s disqualification was enough historic fact to show that he did a hatchet job for the APC in the South-south region during the last general election.
According to him, “The disqualification of Mr. Briyia by the APC is a mere face-saving measure by the APC after our party had exposed his aspiration, while still in office as Resident Electoral Commissioner. Nothing farther from the truth that the APC used its members to write figures for President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23 presidential election.
“If anything, this panicky face-saving measure by the APC has further confirmed that it planted its members as electoral officers and used them to manipulate figures in the elections.
“The APC perpetuated a lot of electoral manipulations and fraud in the 2019 elections to steal our presidential mandate in their desperation to deprive our nation of a purposeful leadership under Atiku Abubakar,” Kola Ologbondiyan said.
PDP alleged that the controversial Cross River State Resident Electoral Commissioner was used to rig the February 23 presidential elections in favour of the APC, hence the inability of the presidency to sanction him.
He explained that Briyia’s governorship ambition on the platform of the APC, which he announced while still in the office as REC, amply exposed INEC as a partisan electoral umpire under the watch of Prof. Yakubu Mahmud.
The PDP spokesperson added that the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari did not sanction Briyia, even after he brazenly announced his ambition right in INEC facility, betrayed APC’s embedded interests in the commission, which manifested in the manipulation of processes related to the presidential elections.
Accordingly, he said, “we invite Nigerians to note that INEC, in a recent statement, denied receiving any resignation letter from Mr. Briyia at the time he announced his governorship ambition.
“Our party therefore calls on President Buhari to come out clean on the real reason he failed to sanction the Cross River REC in line with the law.”
The PDP also urged Mr. President to speak out on allegations in the public space that his Presidency failed to sanction Briyia because of the role he allegedly played in favour of the APC in the presidential election.
The party however expressed confidence that justice would definitely be served at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal where Nigerians repose hope for the retrieval of the presidential mandate allegedly stolen by the APC.