The Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has rejected the announced result of the election, saying he will be challenging it in court.
In a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, Abubakar said that it was clear that there were manifest and premeditated malpractices in many states, which negate the results announced.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) early Wednesday morning announced President Muhammadu Buhari as the winner of the Saturday Presidential election.
Buhari was declared re-elected having polled 15,191,847 votes, winning in 19 states, to defeat 71 other contestants including Abubakar, who scored 11, 255,978 votes and won 17 states and the FCT to come second in the February 23 election. The PDP had also refused to sign the election result.
Abubakar said one obvious red flag in the election was the statistical impossibility of states ravaged by the war on terror generating much higher voter turnouts than peaceful states.
“The suppressed votes in my strongholds are so apparent and amateurish that I am ashamed as a Nigerian that such could be allowed to happen. How can total votes in Akwa Ibom, for instance, be 50 per cent less than what they were in 2015?
“Another glaring anomaly is the disruption of voting in strongholds of the PDP in Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and diverse other states, with the authorities doing little or nothing and in some cases facilitating these unfortunate situations,” the PDP candidate said.
Abubakar said that the militarsation of the electoral process was a disservice to Nigeria’s democracy and a throwback to the jackboot era of military dictatorship.
He said in some parts of the country such as Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Imo states, troops deployed for the elections turned their guns on the citizens they were meant to protect, saying this is condemnable and should not be associated with the country’s electoral process in the future.
He said, “I am a democrat and there are democratic avenues available to present the truth to the nation and the watching world. Already, many international observers have given their verdicts, which corroborate our observations.
“I am sure more will come in the coming hours and days.
“If I had lost in a free and fair election, I would have called the victor within seconds of my being aware of his victory to offer not just my congratulations but my services to help unite Nigeria by being a bridge between the North and the South.
“However, in my democratic struggles for the past three decades, I have never seen our democracy so debased as it was on Saturday, Feb. 23.
“Year 2007 was a challenge, but President Yar’Adua was remorseful. In 2019, it is sad to see those who trampled on democracy thumping their noses down on the Nigerian people.
“Consequently, I hereby reject the result of the Feb. 23, 2019 sham election and will be challenging it in court.”
The former Vice President expressed gratitude to Nigerians who trooped out in their millions to perform their civic duty during the election.
Abubakar said that the patriotism of Nigerians was heartwarming and affirms his “oft-repeated statement that we are brothers and sisters born from the womb of one mother Nigeria.”
The former Vice President assured his supporters that “together, we will not allow democracy to be emasculated”.
“I hope and pray Nigerians will someday summon the courage to defend democracy. That is the only way we can move away from being the world headquarters for extreme poverty,” he added.