The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in last Saturday’s election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has described the poll conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the worst he has seen in 30 years, vowing to retrieve his mandate.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had in the early hours of yesterday declared the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari, as the winner of the contest having polled a total of 15,191,847 votes to Atiku’s 11,262,978 votes.
But, while addressing a press conference yesterday in Abuja, Atiku noted that democracy is the government of the people and by the people only when the people’s choice prevails, saying that did not happen last Saturday.
The former vice president stressed that the Election Day witnessed the implementation of grand theft of the people’s will, adding: “I am not one for hyperbole, so I will just let the facts speak for themselves.”
Atiku explained that in Akwa Ibom for instance, the result showed a statistical impossibility of a 62 per cent drop in voter numbers from the 2015 elections even where voter registration and PVC collection rate were much higher in 2015.
According to him, “This is why voter suppression took place. You must recall, our party made this observation and complain before the elections that there were plans to implement voter suppression on PDP or opposition’s strongholds in voter increase in APC strongholds.”
Atiku lamented that this pattern was repeated in strongholds of PDP including in states like Delta, Rivers, Abia and Benue.
He stated: “As this was occurring, we saw another statistical impossibility where the real numbers tallied increased astronomically in Borno State by an almost miraculous 82 per cent in the midst of insecurity.
“This pattern was also repeated in other strongholds of the APC states. One begins to ask if insecurity is conduits to higher voter turnout and security is antithetical to high voter turnout. It is further curious that the PDP’s margin of victory in state outside the South-east and South-south were extremely slim across board. That again is a statistical impossibility.
“The fact is that when you calmly look at the numbers declared by INEC as results of February 23, 2019 elections, they do not add up at all. Let me say that I am not speaking as a member of PDP, I am speaking as a Nigerian when I said the electoral fraud perpetuated by the Buhari administration this past Saturday cannot produce a government of the people for the simple reason that it does not reflect the will of the Nigerian people.
“I told Gen. Abdulsalami two nights ago when he called me that not even the military conducted such a worst election. This is a long journey but I am confident of victory. All hope is not lost, stay strong. By the grace of God, we shall triumph.
“As I have always said, this year, is my three decades in Nigeria’s struggle for democracy. And this is the worst election in those 30 years.
“My dear Nigerians, it is for this reason that I Atiku Abubakar reject the result declared by the INEC, which declared Muhammadu Buhari as duly returned by the majority of the lawful votes.”
Atiku noted that he was conferring with not just his party but also Nigerian people on the next step, which would be revealed to the public shortly.
The former vice president, however, appealed to Nigerians to remain calm and steadfast, saying Rome was not built in a day.
He said the party has the real figures and the facts that have spoken so loudly on Saturday.
He added: “To the international investors and friends of Nigeria now pulling out of the country, can you imagine only yesterday, by that mere announcement, the stock market, lost N85bn. I urge you to be patient and keep faith with the Nigerian people.
“Your problem is not with the Nigerian people; your quarrel is with those who stole their mandate. Please do not punish the people by divesting from Nigeria.”