By EMMANUEL AZIKEN, Political Editor, BEN AGANDE & DAPO AKINREFON
ABUJA – CONGRESS for Progressive Change, CPC, Presidential Candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, called for the cancellation of results of the election saying that computers used in compiling the votes were programmed to rig the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, back to power.
Buhari’s assertion was backed by a petition submitted by his party to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in which the party demanded an investigation into the allegation that the Excel computer programme installed in the INEC computers were manipulated to give Dr. Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP an advantage.
Intimidation of voters
The petition signed by the CPC’s National Chairman, Prince Tony Momoh and National Secretary Engr. Buba Galadima, equally alleged intimidation of voters, multiple voting among other reasons why the results from the South South and South East geopolitical zones should be outrightly cancelled.
The petition by the CPC was immediately challenged by the party’s erstwhile National Publicity Secretary, Dennis Aghanya, who said the election as attested to by international observers was free and fair even as he alleged that Buhari was sabotaged by fifth columnists from within the party.
Chief Press Secretary to INEC chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, was not available to respond to the issue yesterday.
Alleging what he described as systematic rigging in the election, Buhari in an interview with Al Jazeera said: “We have evidence in our hands that the computers were programmed to produce rigged results.”
His petition on the alleged irregularities was submitted to INEC by the CPC National Secretary Galadima, who equally demanded that further collation of the results of the election should be postponed pending the forensic analysis of all the ballots in the two zones.
Galadima who stormed the National Collation Centre for the presidential election with the three_page petition to the INEC chairman was, however, stopped at the entrance of the centre by security operatives because his name was not among those accredited to entre the complex.
Affirming that Buhari won the election based on the party’s independent result collation, he said:
‘We (CPC) are also disagreeing with results from Sokoto, Adamawa, Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Jigawa among others. All results must be subjected to forensic analysis before it is announced. If it is announced without forensic analysis, we will not accept it.”
The petition copied to foreign observers and local diplomatic missions read thus: “Our attention has been drawn by our State collation officers, polling agents, and election supervisors in the states of the South-South and South-East and some other states that the presidential elections held on April 16, 2011 in Nigeria were conducted in substantial non-compliance with the principles of the Electoral Act with the effect that the results handed down were substantially affected by massive irregularities that include the following:
1.Members of the public in the areas mentioned were at most polling stations intimidated and driven away from the polling units with the effect that the ballot papers in ballot boxes were printed and stuffed in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
2. Opposition voters were directly and indirectly kept away from polling units through threats of force, violence and death in consequence of which they were disenfranchised.
3. There was clear absence of accreditation of voters in most of the polling units and the regulated procedure for the conduct of the purported election was as a result violently breached to the advantage of PDP.
4. There is strong suspicion, supported by reasonable grounds, that the Excel computer application installed in the computers of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, across the nation was deliberately designed to short change the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC. This can be attested to by the unfolding situation of Katsina and Kano where the manual calculation of the results reveal that our Party was short changed by hundreds of thousands of votes when the results were manually reviewed.
Appeal: Our Party, the Congress for Progressive Change, is in consequence of the above, humbly appealing to the Chairman to:
1.Order the respective Chief Electoral Commissioners and such other custodians of all presidential election documents including statement of results, ballot papers and voters registers which are returned to the Commission by the Returning Officers to produce them to be analyzed in line with our allegation on multiple and alien voting by voters not registered at the polling units.
2. Investigate the allegation of manipulation of Excel Application Programme installed in the field computers of INEC deliberately designed to favour PDP and short change CPC.
3. Order for the cancellation of the results handed down from the South_South and South East in the event the investigation revealed the alleged breaches.
4. Order for concurrent manual recalculation of the result across the country alongside the Excel Application calculation.
Conclusion: Based on credible information received and intelligence reports in the areas mentioned, we formally write to reject the entire results presented from Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo; Abia, Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi states. Others include Ekiti, Ogun, Osun, Lagos, Sokoto, Kaduna, Jigawa, Gombe, Yobe, Zamfara, Adamawa, Nasarawa states and FCT.
“We, therefore, appeal that you demand the ballot papers and result sheets as collated from these zones and states for scrutiny in the interest of peace, prosperity, free, fair and credible elections. We recall that on Sunday April 17, because of reports we received, we issued a press statement that we would accept only collated results from polling stations.
What is being exhibited to the world is not collated from polling units but from the state headquarters where a lot of manipulations, we believe, had taken place.”
The CPC’s immediate past National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Aghanya, however, called on Buhari to draw back from disputing the poll as he affirmed that the election was lost due to internal sabotage in the party.
Sabotage from within
He said: “The CPC was sabotaged from within and as such should direct its anger on such saboteurs within. Gen. Buhari should resist the temptation of being dragged into this mess. The election has been lost and won but we must move ahead.
“The election was adjudged very free and fair by the international and local observers. I want to advise aggrieved CPC sympathisers over the outcome of the presidential election to direct their anger towards those within the CPC who sabotaged Gen. Buhari before and during the elections.
“If at all the election was rigged, these fellows should be held responsible and not those they are burning their houses. They should look inwards and not doing otherwise. We raised alarm earlier over these acts of sabotage and warned our leaders. But no one listened to us. We can now see the end result of their unpatriotic acts.”