•PDP’s prayers at tribunal at best hollow, ridiculous — APC
•They didn’t have a Plan B, just wanted to rig the election — KEYAMO
•We’ll reclaim our stolen mandate through the courts — PDP
By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor, Dirisu Yakubu & Omezia Ajayi
ABUJA — The All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday, launched a blistering attack on the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, describing their claim of having won last month’s presidential poll as the hallucinatory outcome of a post-election depression.
The APC’s claim was backed by the Muhammadu Buhari Presidential Campaign Organisation, which also charged the PDP of being steeped in post-election trauma.
The claims were, however, robustly rebuffed by the PDP which accused President Buhari of standing on a stolen mandate even as the party affirmed that it was the clear winner in the six states where run-off governorship elections are to be conducted this weekend.
The APC’s attack on the PDP followed revelations in the court affidavit attached to Atiku’s petition at the Presidential Election Tribunal where it was deposed that the PDP candidate won the election by 1.6 million votes. The PDP had claimed that the figure could be verified by data in custody of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Responding to the claim yesterday, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the APC said: “Following the outcome of the Presidential election, during which a vast majority of Nigerians reaffirmed their unshaken belief in President Buhari to continue to steer the affairs of the country for another four years, we have watched in disbelief and utter amusement how the opposition PDP and its Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, have engaged in series of circus shows to cheer up their crestfallen and disillusioned members.
PDP in post-defeat depression — APC
“While the APC is not oblivious of the PDP’s antics to discredit the credible presidential electoral process, acknowledged by local and international observers, we sympathise with Atiku for the crushing defeat handed him by President Buhari through the votes of Nigerians.
“Judging by Atiku and PDP’s recent utterances and actions, it is now clear that they have slipped into severe depression and post-defeat hallucination that have left many Nigerians questioning their current state of mind.
“After weeks of dilly-dallying, the PDP has woken up to the stark reality of its electoral defeat and decided to follow the constitutional path of filing a petition at the Election Tribunal. However, of all the prayers of Atiku before the Election Tribunal, which are at best hollow, the most ridiculous is his claim that the server of the INEC, indicated he ‘won’ the Presidential election by 1.6million votes.
“A few questions would suffice: Is this phantom figure of 1.6million votes Dubai-invented? Was the result sold to Atiku by his numerous marabouts, who we understand, had assured him that the last election was a done deal for him?
“Most importantly, we note Atiku’s consistent reference to the “INEC server” as if he is the custodian of that platform. Indeed, Atiku’s constant reference to the INEC server should raise concerns as it is becoming apparent that he and the PDP are up for some dastard activities that are targeted at jeopardizing the INEC database and internal storage system. We recall the widespread reported cases of several programmed card readers that were retrieved from some PDP agents and their failed attempt to hack the INEC database in the lead-up to the then postponed presidential election.
“We remind the Atiku and PDP that Nigerians saw through the devious schemes aimed at thwarting their will. Consequently, majority of the voters handed them a harsh verdict — that verdict remains sacrosanct.
“We call on the INEC and the security agencies to be on red alert to ensure that Atiku and the other desperate characters in the PDP are not able to execute their evil plans.”
Where did PDP get its 1.6m votes margin from, asks Keyamo
The assertions of the APC were backed up by the Buhari Campaign which speaking through its spokesman, Mr. Festus Keyamo said: “It is contradictory to their earlier claim that they needed access to INEC server and data base but given that the court refused their plea the big question is that where did they get this phantom figure from?
“The PDP did not have a Plan B and their plan was to rig the election. They should learn to move on from this post-election trauma and prepare for 2023. Just as they never recovered
“They should not be trapped in this trauma, because these figures can only be coming from a mind that is hallucinating.”
We’ll reclaim our stolen mandate through the courts — PDP
Responding to the charges against it, the PDP speaking through its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondinyan vowed that the party would reclaim what it described as its stolen mandate through the courts.
“What did they mean by PDP slipping into depression and hallucination? We are telling them that we will retrieve our stolen mandate whether they like it or not.
“We will go the whole hog to take our states which they declared inconclusive. They know that we won those states and come Saturday, we will claim those states.
“We don’t want to say much about the Presidential election because Nigerians knew what happened. They should not grandstand because at the end of the day, we are confident of victory. No matter how far a lie travels, truth will eventually catch up with it.”