The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should immediately announce results and declare its candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar winner of Saturday polls.
In a statement signed by PDP spokesperson and director media and publicity of its presidential campaign organisation, Kola Ologbondiyan, Sunday, the party said its decision was predicated on clear and verifiable results across the nation, showing Abubakar in clear lead both in spread and total number of votes cast.
He said: “Intelligence available to us is that INEC is delaying the announcement of results following directives by the Buhari presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC), which are bent on altering the figures from the polling centres and allocate fictitious figures for President Muhammadu Buhari, particularly in northern states.
The statement read “Curiously, INEC server is now shut down, results are no more being transmitted and the reason is to enable the APC to inflate figures from six designated states.
“We call on international observers and election monitors to insist on a transparent process of transmission of results and the monitoring thereof.
“We already have reports of how APC governors in the northern states have been making desperate efforts to tamper with the results of the elections in their respective states with the view to award conjured votes to President Buhari.
“In Kogi state, Governor Yahaya Bello has been making frantic moves to change results to suit APC’s intent and purposes as against the wishes of the people, expressly delivered at the polls.
“Nigerians already know how the Minister of Transportation and the Director-General of the Buhari Campaign, Rotimi Amaechi, used the military to hold an INEC official in Rivers state, Mrs. Mary Efeturi, hostage and insisted that she will not be released until she alters the results in favour of President Buhari
“The PDP calls on INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu to note that in this age of Information Communication Technology, Nigerians already have the results as delivered at the polling centres and any attempt to alter any figure will be faced with vehement resistance.
“In delaying the announcement of the results, Professor Mahmood Yakubu is allowing the APC to turn him into a villain and directly pitching him against the people.
“He should therefore extricate himself from the rejected APC and be on the side of the people; by immediately announcing the results as already delivered at the polling units and declare the people’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, the winner.’’
Also, the party said, Buhari was mounting pressure on INEC and dispatching officials to change results in Rivers, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Kogi, Bauchi, Cross River, Borno, Yobe and Edo states among others.
“Pathetically, the Buhari Presidency is also threatening the South-east state governors to change results and carve a 25% for Mr. President, a scheme that has already failed.
“In Bauchi state, we are aware of the plots to move thump-printed ballot papers and fabricated results from Bauchi to Dass local government area to upturn PDP’s victory in the results already delivered and announced at the polling units in the area.
“This is why the electoral officials have been delaying moving the results for final collation and announcement. If this plot fails, the APC plans to void the results for Dass.
“In spite of all these, our party assures Nigerians that the hope for a new government led by Atiku Abubakar, is already manifest.
“Our agents and indeed, Nigerians, already have the results as delivered at the polling units and are not ready to accept anything to the contrary. President Buhari and the APC should therefore quietly come to terms with the fact that they have been defeated.
“The PDP therefore cautions INEC to respects the laws and electoral guideline by upholding and declaring results from the polling units as expressed by Nigerians on Saturday.”
APC slams PDP
But the APC has described as reckless and an attack on democracy the call by the PDP asking INEC to declare Abubakar winner.
Spokesman of the party, Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, Sunday night in Abuja, described the call as “shameful and alarming.”
APC said PDP’s unwilling to wait for INEC, the constituted legal authority to complete its task, amounted to “a short cut by false and premature claims of victory. This cannot stand.
“Our nation is trying to perfect its democracy, not turn it into a mockery. Sadly, this objective is lost on the PDP. The PDP’s guiding principle is distilled to the following; because they want something, then they should get it. What they use to guide themselves actually blinds them instead.
“Because they want the presidency so badly that they have engaged in all manner of misconduct and spared little cost to achieve their aim, they now believe that they are entitled to claim victory notwithstanding the vote and will of the people. But this is not the way of democracy. Democracy means the people choose for themselves not that the PDP chooses for them.
“That may have been the way in the past when they engineered and kidnapped elections to achieve their desired end notwithstanding the true will of the people. Thankfully, those days are gone and gone forever.
“These elections are supposed to be democratic exercises not a platform for the PDP to impose their selfish designs on a hopeful nation. The PDP should honour and follow the sovereign will and sober dignity of the Nigerian people.”
“The people patiently waited the additional week for election day to come. The vast majority of people again exercised patience as they peacefully voted on election day. Unfortunately, isolated incidents of violence took place. We are deeply saddened by the violence and disruption that did occur.
“Nigerians died yesterday and that should never have happened and should never happen again during an election of any kind in our land. Their deaths are needless tragedies that mar what was otherwise a celebration of our maturing democracy.
“Instead of the discordant and provocative statement it released, the PDP should be appealing for peace and for INEC to diligently and thoroughly perform the vital task assigned it. Curiously, the majority of violent incidents and reports of electoral malpractice emanate from states which the PDP controls. It appears the PDP just cannot break from their old ways.”
The ruling party asked PDP to live up to the status it claims for itself as a large political party, saying the opposition party should behave more responsibly instead of acting the role of spoiled children threatening to upset the dinner table if not fed their preferred meal.
“The APC asks and encourages INEC to do its job as mandated by law and by good conscience and not by the screams of those who do not fully believe in these ideals. We hope INEC can begin to release results soon and do so in a way that protects and honours the vote of every Nigerian who cast a ballot.
“We also ask our members and supporters to exercise patience and conduct themselves peacefully. Democracy is a contest of issues and visions. Not one of muscle and fighting. Let there be no more violence among us. Remember that we are all Nigerians and belong to the same national family despite our political differences.”