Chuks Okocha in Abuja
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday said the confession by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that its card readers were being circumvented, confirmed its position that Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections as well as Kogi West Senatorial election were allegedly manipulated and therefore fraudulent.
PDP said by INEC’s outburst the party has vindicated, casting huge burden of guilt on the electoral umpire. The party consequently called on INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmud, to resign
The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the confession by two INEC commissioners: Festus Okoye and Haruna Mohammed, on Wednesday that the card readers were circumvented in elections conducted by the commission did not come to it as a surprise.
Ologbondiyan added that PDP had always held that no matter how much falsehood appears to thrive, the truth would always catch up with it.
The party noted that the confession by the commission vindicated the position of the PDP and majority of Nigerians that there were manipulations, alterations and circumventing of genuine data captured by the card readers and that actual results transmitted from polling units were tampered with.
“The admission also brings to light why INEC had no convincing defence at the tribunal in the face of overwhelming discrepancies in the figures it declared in the presidential poll.
“It is instructive to note that the confession by INEC has not only vindicated our party, it has placed a huge burden on the INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakubu.
“It is indeed unfortunate that INEC can suddenly claim that it has just realised that the card readers have lost steam in our electoral process after they have been used to manipulate voting processes,” he alleged.
PDP further alleged that INEC chairman is now being faced with the burden of how the electoral system has been corrupted by the manipulations of INEC under his leadership and all in the bid to serve group rather than national interest.
PDP said the only alternative is for the INEC chairman to accept his failures and vacate office without further delay, adding that there’s no way Nigerians could continue to repose confidence in the commission under the watch of the present chairman.
PDP alleged that it’s unfortunate that under Yakubu, the commission condoned the invasion of polling units, suppression of voters and stuffing of snatched ballot boxes, cancellation of results in places where election held peacefully, while announcing fabricated results allocated to its favoured political party as valid votes.
In view of this outburst, the PDP rejected attempts by INEC to shift the blames for its failures to other political parties, alleging that “it is on record that our party had consistently pointed to infractions created and allowed by INEC to facilitate rigging in elections.”
PDP, therefore, called on Nigerians to remain calm and charged Yakubu and the INEC leadership under him to do the needful by vacating offices to save our electoral system from complete collapse.