Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, South, Elder Yemi Akinwonmi, in this interview, speaks on the party’s performance during the last governorship and presidential polls, preparation for governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states, and June 12 among other issues of national significance.
By Olayinka Ajayi
What do you make of the opinion in some quarters that the making of June 12 as Democracy Day was done for personal glory?
They have not done enough on June 12. The government has not done enough. If they truly believe in the spirit of June 12 they should have declared Chief MKO Abiola President posthumously. What they have done is a Greek gift. They should have asked Prof. Humphrey Nwosu to declare the results officially to pave the way for the declaration of Abiola as President. Professor Nwosu is alive. They should have called him to do so. They should have even called on INEC to declare the result. It is when such is done that Nigerians would believe that they have really validated June 12.
What do you make of the European Union Observatory report on the 2019 general election?
The PDP was denied victory. We were able to win about six additional states but the ultimate is the presidency. It was a daylight robbery and we are going to recover our mandate by the grace of God. Nigerians will hear monumental revelations that would convince everybody that we were robbed. We have assembled all our facts which we are going to present to the election tribunal and the international community. We have evidence. The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC is now saying it has no information. The same INEC said before the elections that election results would be transmitted into the server. Even Mr. Mike Igini, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in Akwa Ibom State demonstrated on Channels Television how the information would be transmitted into INEC’s server. Who is deceiving who? Professor Mahmood Yakubu also said so. We are shocked and we found it incredible after the election that they said there was no such information in the server.
On Kano situation
We have assembled our evidence from the ward to the local government level. From our own calculations, Atiku Abubakar won that election by 1.6million votes, as against what they declared. Already, they are jittery. I don’t want to pre-empt what will happen in the courts in order not to sound sub judice, but our evidence would surprise the whole world.
The judiciary in Kenya has set precedence for Africa in that regard. Uhuru Kenyatta lost in the courts. The worse scenario that will happen is to call for a repeat of the election, and we are not praying for that.
The PDP is known for intra-party crises but that is not the case today. What is responsible for this unusual harmony?
PDP is more organised than APC. From the wards to the national level, the PDP is more organised than the APC. APC is known for leadership crisis, especially at the national level. Since the last election, how many APC leaders have been suspended? A former governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha and Senator Ibikunle Amosun were suspended at different times. The party leadership even has a running battle with Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, Abdulazeez Yari and even the Deputy National Chairman, Senator Lawili Shuaibu. Is the leadership of the PDP having any problem with its governors? The above examples showed that the PDP is more organised.
Our projections before the election
Another point that propelled us to this level is that our campaign was issue-based. We convinced Nigerians that we are better alternatives. We convinced them that we have the candidate, who could deliver on his promises. Nigerians bought into that because they realised that APC never fulfilled its campaign promises. For example, in 2014, Buhari promised that he would reduce the price of petrol to N87 a litre but he failed to do it. He also promised to reduce the exchange rate from N1 to $1. Has he done it? What is the exchange rate today? We have never had it so bad.
Today, we cannot sleep in our houses with our eyes closed. We were talking about insecurity in the North-East, it has gradually moved into the North-Central and now in the southern parts of the country. Kidnapping is now a common crime in the South-West.