…Alleges plot to “seize” Adamawa, Venue, Sokoto, others
By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA-The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has expressed optimism of its chances in the supplementary governorship elections slated for March 23, even as it for the umpteenth time, charged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to release results and return its candidates in states where elections were declared inconclusive.
Arising from a meeting of its National Working Committee, NWC, on Thursday, the party flayed the electoral umpire for alleged ill treatment, citing some states, where it claimed the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, was declared winner with a small margin of victory.
In a statement issued late Thursday night by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party flayed INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu for the manner in which he “declared states where PDP had popular support and defeated the APC as inconclusive, whereas in a state like Ogun state, where APC failed to achieve a higher margin of lead over cancelled votes, was declared the winner.”
The statement read in part: “In Sokoto state, a stronghold of our party and where the PDP is already in a clear lead, our victory at the March 23 supplementary election is guaranteed.
“In Benue, the people have expressed their readiness to go into the supplementary election and they are prepared to vote for the PDP candidate, Governor Samuel Ortom. They are also aware that by PDP’s current leading margin of over 81,000 votes, it is manifestly clear that there is no way APC, with all its manipulations, militarization, arm-twisting, intimidation and harassment, will defeat the PDP in Benue.
“In Adamawa, the PDP observed the mischievous calculation of the APC in sponsoring someone, who did not participate in the election, to go to court and claim that the logo of his party was omitted in the ballot.
“In Bauchi state, it is known to all, including the APC and its governorship candidate, that Tafawa Balewa Local Government has always been a home to the PDP since 1999. We therefore counsel the APC rigging machine to avert engaging the people of that constituency, as it will be of no avail.
“In Kano state, the APC will be confronting the strong will of the people to do away with a corrupt and incompetent government, which Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has come to represent. The atmosphere of Kano state is ominous and any responsible government will take note and align in the interest of the people.
“Already, the people of Kano state are standing shoulder to shoulder with the PDP in their pursuit of bringing a government that will be representative and purposeful.
“In Rivers state, the PDP restates our demand that INEC should release the results already collated on the governorship election in which PDP clearly won and declare Governor Nyesom Wike as winner.”
The party further claimed it was aware of a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and some APC governors where “a decision was taken to seize Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Plateau, Sokoto and Kano states in the March 23, scheduled supplementary election.”
It continued :”It is instructive to state that the Presidency has not denied this strong allegation of rigging plans, thus strengthening the reality that the APC is always prepared to benefit from electoral fraud.
“The PDP wishes to state that after our deliberation and interface with stakeholders from the various states where governorship supplementary elections have been scheduled to hold, the party mandates all our members to resist any attempt by anybody to tamper with the will of the people in their states.
“On no account must Nigerians allow a culture of impunity, where those who failed in any elections will compromise our electoral arbiter and force themselves on the people.”
It described as despicable the involvement of military personnel in politics “to an extent where soldiers now join issues with politicians in the media and conduct its affairs as if it has become a political party. This partisan involvement of our armed forces, to say the least, has impaired the confidence Nigerians have on the institution of the military.”