PDP to INEC: Declare our elections results as you did in Ogun
•Condoles with Lagos over collapsed building
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately declare the results of the election in states where the gubernatorial poll has been declared inconclusive with the party in taking the lead.
The states where supplementary election has been scheduled includes Kano, Benue, Sokoto, Bauchi and Adamawa.
The All Progressive Congress (APC) is leading in the sixth state, Plateau where supplementary is to hold on March 23.
But the PDP noted in a statement in Abuja on Thursday that since the electoral body declared the gubernatorial result in Ogun State where the cancelled votes were more than the margin of victory of the All Progressive (APC) candidate, it should also declare the results in the states where PDP is in the lead.
Signed by Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary and Director, Media & Publicity PDP Presidential Campaign Organization, the statement has demanded that results should be released and returns made by INEC immediately.
The hierarchy of the party condemned, in very strong terms, the manner in which the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, declared states where PDP had popular support and defeated the APC as inconclusive, whereas in a state like Ogun state, where APC failed to achieve a higher margin of lead over cancelled votes, was declared the winner.
According to the statement, the PDP found it strange that INEC can have two sets of rules in the same election for the various political parties.
It added: “More worrisome is the resolution which arose from a meeting between some governors of the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari, where the PDP has been informed that a decision was taken to seize Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Plateau, Sokoto and Kano states in the March 23, scheduled supplementary election.
“It is instructive to state that the Buhari Presidency has not denied this strong allegation of rigging plans, thus strengthening the reality that the APC is always prepared to benefit from electoral fraud.”
The statement said that after its deliberation and interface with stakeholders from the various states where governorship supplementary elections have been scheduled to hold, the party mandated all its members to resist any attempt by anybody to tamper with the will of the people in their states.
It further said: “In Sokoto state, a stronghold of our party and where the PDP is already in a clear lead, our victory at the March 23 supplementary election is guaranteed.
“In Benue, the people have expressed their readiness to go into the supplementary election and they are prepared to vote for the PDP candidate, Governor Samuel Ortom. They are also aware that by PDP’s current leading margin of over 81,000 votes, it is manifestly clear that there is no way APC, with all its manipulations, militarization, arm-twisting, intimidation and harassment, will defeat the PDP in Benue.
“In Adamawa, the PDP observed the mischievous calculation of the APC in sponsoring someone, who did not participate in the election, to go to court and claim that the logo of his party was omitted in the ballot.
“This is their desperate bid to get the election already won by the PDP cancelled. The PDP, however, notes the failure of the APC to achieve its mischief in Adamawa state.
“In Bauchi state, it is known to all, including the APC and its governorship candidate, that Tafawa Balewa Local Government has always been a home to the PDP since 1999. We, therefore, counsel the APC rigging machine to avert engaging the people of that constituency, as it will be of no avail.
“In Kano state, the APC will be confronting the strong will of the people to do away with a corrupt and incompetent government, which Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has come to represent. The atmosphere of Kano state is ominous and any responsible government will take note and align in the interest of the people.
“Already, the people of Kano state are standing shoulder to shoulder with the PDP in their pursuit of bringing a government that will be representative and purposeful.
“On no account must Nigerians allow a culture of impunity, where those who failed in any elections will compromise our electoral arbiter and force themselves on the people.
“In Rivers state, the PDP restates our demand that INEC should release the results already collated on the governorship election in which PDP clearly won and declare Governor Nyesom Wike as the winner.
“Furthermore, the PDP expresses worry over the damage done to the image of the military by its hierarchy by allowing itself to be used by the APC.
“It is despicable that our military has been dragged into politics to an extent where soldiers now join issues with politicians in the media and conduct its affairs as if it has become a political party. This partisan involvement of our armed forces, to say the least, has impaired the confidence Nigerians have on the institution of the military.”
The party has also commiserated with the people of Lagos state, particularly the victims of the devastating building collapse in Lagos, which led to the unfortunate death of compatriots, including little school children.
A separate statement by Ologbodiyan said the party has been grief-stricken over this tragedy, which has traumatized not only the families of the victims but also the entire nation with bereavement, pain and anguish.
The party joined all well-meaning citizens and people of faith across our country in supplicating for the peaceful repose of the souls of the deceased, the fortitude for their families to bear the loss of their loved ones as well as speedy recovery for the injured.
The PDP also commended Nigerians for their show of love and solidarity in the search and rescue effort, which saved the lives of many of the victims of the tragedy. Such solidarity reinforces our unity and resilience as a people.
The party called on the authorities to look into the issue of building collapse in the country and take strong steps to forestall such ugly incidents in the future.
It also urged all public-spirited groups and individuals to continue to reach out to the victims at this moment of grief.