Borno’s elections were rigged – PDP candidate

Borno state on map used to illustrate the story
Borno state on map used to illustrate the story

A candidate of People Democratic Party (PDP) for a Federal House of Representatives seat in Borno State, Fatima-Zara Sale, has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies of colluding to rig Saturday’s election results.

Mrs Sale, who is contesting the Ngala, Dikwa, Kala-Balge federal constituency seat of Borno State, said alleged “massive fraud” was perpetrated by the ruling party in connivance with the security agencies while the INEC officials looked the other way.

She told journalists at a press conference on Monday that she has impeccable evidence, both in pictures and videos, to prove her case.

She calls on the INEC to either reject the results being announced or cancel the election in its entirety.

“There was active connivance of both the INEC officials, security officials, APC members in bastardising and demeaning democracy in Borno State.

“We are asking for a total cancellation of the results for the presidential and National Assembly elections held in the entire Borno State on the 23rd of February 2019.

“There was flagrant violation of the electoral laws, guidelines and violation of the process.

“We have observed that there was massive malpractice and there was a common template used for the malpractice all over the state

“There was a common denominator; we have evidences and we are not just talking for the fun of it; we have copious and concise evidences to buttress our claims and we will do that at the right time.

“We have proofs in terms of pictures, videos and whichever lawful evidence one can think of.

“It is totally unacceptable; it is the rape of democracy and democratic institutions in this country. The democratic process for elected officials into various offices of the land has been bastardised, making a mockery of those who paid the supreme price for democracy to thrive.

“There was intimidation of voters at the polling units, there was flagrant violation of all rules and vote buying to the full glare of the police and various security officials who turned their faces the other way while the disobedience of the law was taking place.

“Our various party agents were also intimidated and humiliated, both at the polling units and at the collation centres.

“There was illegal thumb printing, and we have strong evidence to show on that; thumb-printing of ballot papers in secret places and locations in Borno North district and we have evidence of where it was being done while the security officials stood by and watched.

“We will not standby and watch democracy being raped in any part of the country.

“We are calling in the REC to do the right thing and we are calling on the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu to do the right thing and we want the International community to take specific interest in what is going on in Borno state.

“We’ve had a long history of intimidation, we were not unaware that it was going to end up like that, we are not surprised that it was going to happen like this.

“We all knew when it will come to this when our campaign bill billboards were being taken down; we knew when we were all harassed and humiliated. We were not allowed to campaign in various parts of the state, but we took the bold step of going ahead despite the humiliation and vandalisation of our personal property and campaign structure and threat to our lives just because we wanted to prove a point that democracy is for all, and got one individual.

“We will not sit back and watch, we will fight this to its logical conclusion.

“No matter how long this will take, we are going to go the whole hog.”

She said had the president of Nigeria signed the Electoral Act, candidates of opposition parties like her would have been protected

“But without the Electoral Act in place here were even card readers were not used, which in its self is an abuse of process. And then they want to announce results? What results?

“No polling unit had the results announced. It was not pasted anywhere. It is totally unacceptable.”

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