By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA-The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the popularity of President Muhammadu Buhari is waning, saying the deployment of heavily armed security forces in last Saturday’s House of Representatives bye- election in Katsina State was intended to muscle votes for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The party also described the last Saturday’s Kano State local council election, as shameful even as it alleged that the exercise was characterized by outright cheating, open underaged voting and ballot stuffing amongst sundry malpractices.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement on Sunday, said the use of brute force and allocation of ballots to gain votes in the bye-election in Mashi/Dutsi Federal Constituency, which ordinarily a walk in the park, being President Buhari’s constituency, shows that the party (APC) has pathetically lost it all.
The PDP said the fact that it was able to garner a total of 22,690 votes against the 30,719 fraudulently allocated to the APC, despite the use of force and other brazen infractions by the APC, shows that PDP is the natural winner of the election.
“The APC is corrupting security officials to use maximum force as a desperate measure to save President Buhari, whose popularity had dipped across our nation.
“We invite Nigerians and the international community to mark how the APC and its controlled Federal Government are corrupting our electoral system, by using force to intimidate the people and steal their votes.
“In their desperation to help the President, the APC in cahoots with the inept Presidency, declared war on the people by ensuring the deployment of over 1000 heavily armed and hostile security operatives for an election that held in only 15 polling units within two local governments of Katsina State,” the statement read in part.
The further expressed its determination to expose electoral infractions allegedly committed by the ruling party, noting that the process has commenced.
“The PDP is compiling a comprehensive documentary evidence of infractions and irregularities including barring of legitimate voters from accessing polling centers, assigning of polling units to APC government functionaries, indiscriminate arrests of opposition members and supporters, underaged voting and allocation of votes for APC as well as conflict between results from the polling units and collation centers among others.
“Also being compiled is the identity of the security and electoral officials used by the APC to subvert the will of the people, which will be made public while ensuring that they are prosecuted.
“The clear message to the APC is that the will of the people will prevail in 2019 as Nigerians will never allow the shameful impunity and suppression witnessed in Katsina and Kano during last Saturday’s election as they will be fully rallied to resist such across board”, the party added.