The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s posturing that he will not manipulate the March 23 governorship supplementary elections is a direct confession that the Presidency used its influence to rig the February 23 presidential election.
It said it was also a subterfuge to divert public attention from APC’s “rigging plots” ahead of the supplementary elections.
The PDP stated this in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Monday.
Mr Ologbondiyan stated that the presidency’s ‘confession’ that APC members ”are mounting pressure” on President Buhari to help them to rig the supplementary elections further confirms the Buhari Presidency’s “manipulative and rigging capacity, including militarisation of the electoral process, instigating of violence and alteration of results, as were freely used by the APC in the Presidential election”.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed March 23 for supplementary elections in six states (Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto) where elections were declared inconclusive.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how INEC declared the elections in the six states inconclusive because the margin of victory was less than the cancelled votes in each of the states.
Of the six states, the main opposition party, PDP, was leading in five, while the APC was leading in Plateau.
The PDP spokesperson called on Nigerians, especially those in states where the supplementary elections have been scheduled to hold, to be wary of what he described as the antics of the Buhari Presidency.
“Nigerians can recall that ahead of the Presidential and National Assembly elections, President Buhari had promised to allow for a free, fair, transparent and credible process, only for his Presidency and party, the APC, to engage in downright manipulations at INEC, deployment of military and thugs to intimidate and suppress voters, as well as outright alteration of results delivered from the polling units.
“President Buhari cannot exonerate himself of the harm inflicted on our polity by the deployment of soldiers in the 2019 general elections, as nobody deploys the military except the President and Commander-in-Chief.
“Now that President Buhari, in his official capacity, has come out to state that he will not intervene in the March 23 Supplementary election. We ask, is Mr President assuring Nigerians that any ‘soldier’ seen directly involved in the rerun election is fake and should be treated as such?”
The opposition party called on the military to note the import of the statement by the Presidency ”and steer clear of the supplementary elections”.
The party also cautioned INEC officials to note that Nigerians are very eager about the outcome of the supplementary elections, ”given that the PDP is already leading in these states”.