PEOPLES Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara state has called on INEC to cancel the last Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly election in the State, saying that its outcome does not reflect the wishes of the people.
The party said that the election was fraught with electoral malpractices, malfunctioning of 90 per cent of card readers, multiple voting, and over voting and thus rejected the outcome of the elections in the state as announced by INEC.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin on Thursday, the PDP chairman, Engineer Kola Shittu, said that it took this decision after a thorough review of the conduct of the election, which it said was marred by widespread irregularities in different parts of the State.
“Reports we received from our polling agents across the state indicated that the electoral process was characterised by massive anomalies that put the credibility of the exercise in doubt.
“Although the election was largely peaceful as there was no record of violence in any part of the state, our agents reported that the exercise was fraught with several discrepancies such as card readers’ failure, over-voting and inflation of figures.
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“In addition, our agents were also harassed and intimidated by some compromised security officials for complaining that card readers were not used for voting in their polling units.
“For the avoidance of doubt, in over 70 per cent of polling units across the state, card readers were not used for voting as they only verified voters but could not authenticate their fingerprints, which led to the use of manual screening of voters. This gave room for perpetuation of electoral fraud in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“We also received a report of how APC agents made use of unclaimed PVCs to vote at some polling units across the state, particularly, within Kwara Central. Also, many of the local observers accredited by INEC to monitor the election were APC members.
“Additionally, prior to the day of the election, the Federal Government backed APC made some retrogressive and undemocratic moves, using state apparatus to intimidate and arrest some of our members and supporters in some parts of the State.
“Of particular note was the Kwara senatorial candidate of our party, Dr Rafiu Ibrahim, who was arrested and unlawfully detained by the Police less than 48 hours to the commencement of an election he was a major contender. This was apparently done to keep him out of circulation and give his opponent undue advantage.
“From the foregoing, election held in Kwara over the weekend cannot be said to be free, fair and credible. And it is on this basis that our party is rejecting the results of the presidential and National Assembly election announced by INEC. The outcome of the exercise did not in any way represent the wish of the majority of the electorate.
“Therefore, we will further review the circumstances surrounding the conduct of the election and take every lawful means to pursue our rights.
“Meanwhile, we want to thank Kwarans for going out en masse to exercise their civic duty despite the obvious militarization of the election by the APC-led Federal Government.
“The party also asks the public to disregard fake online report that its governorship candidate, Hon Razak Atunwa has pulled out of the guber race.
“The report is totally false, mischievous and misleading. Atunwa remains in the race and will emerge victorious by the grace of God and the support of Kwarans.”