The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in last Saturday’s election, Atiku Abubakar, has rejected the result of the poll as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission on Wednesday morning.
INEC had declared President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress as winner of the election and returned him as duly elected.
Mr Buhari, according to the electoral body, scored 15,191,847 votes. Mr Abubakar garnered 11,262,978 votes to finish as runner-up.
But in his response to the declaration, the PDP candidate said the result was unacceptable to him and that he would challenge it in court.
“If I had lost in a free and fair election, I would have called the victor within seconds of my being aware of his victory to offer not just my congratulations, but my services to help unite Nigeria by being a bridge between the North and the South,” Mr Abubakar said in a statement emailed to PREMIUM TIMES.
“However, in my democratic struggles for the past three decades, I have never seen our democracy so debased as it was on Saturday, February 23, 2019. 2007 was a challenge, but President Yar’Adua was remorseful. In 2019, it is sad to see those who trampled on democracy thumping their noses down on the Nigerian people.
“Consequently, I hereby reject the result of the February 23, 2019 sham election and will be challenging it in court.
“I want to assure my supporters and the entire Nigerian people that together, we will not allow democracy to be emasculated.”
Giving reason for rejecting the result of the election, Mr Abubakar said, “… It is clear that there were manifest and premeditated malpractices in many states which negate the results announced.
“One obvious red flag is the statistical impossibility of states ravaged by the war on terror generating much higher voter turnouts than peaceful states. The suppressed votes in my strongholds are so apparent and amateurish, that I am ashamed as a Nigerian that such could be allowed to happen. How can total votes in Akwa-Ibom, for instance, be 50% less than what they were in 2015?
“Another glaring anomaly is the disruption of voting in strongholds of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos, Akwa-Ibom, Rivers and diverse other states, with the authorities doing little or nothing and in some cases facilitating these unfortunate situations. (See attached links to documentary evidences).
“The militarization of the electoral process is a disservice to our democracy and a throwback to the jackboot era of military dictatorship. In some areas of the country, such as, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Imo states, troops deployed for the elections turned their guns on the very citizens they were meant to protect. This is condemnable and should not be associated with our electoral process in the future.”
The PDP candidate also provided links to some online publications as evidence that the election was flawed.