The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described the call by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare its Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar as winner of Saturday’s Presidential election as an unwarranted attack on democracy and Nigerians.
Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the APC National Publicity Secretary in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, said the call was shameful.
“The PDP in that press statement, recklessly calls on the INEC to arbitrarily its candidate, Atiku Abubakar the winner of the presidential election.
“This call is shameful and alarming; unwilling to wait for INEC, the constituted legal authority to complete its task, the PDP seeks a short cut by false and premature claims of victory, this cannot stand.
“Our nation is trying to perfect its democracy, not turn it into a mockery, sadly, this objective is lost to the PDP,” Issa-Onilu said.
He noted that because the PDP wanted the presidency so badly, it had engaged in all manner of misconduct and spared little cost to achieve its aim.
He added that the PDP now believe that it is entitled to claim victory notwithstanding the vote and will of the people.
This, Issa-Onilu added was not the way of democracy, saying that democracy meant that the people should choose for themselves not that the PDP should choose for them.
“That may have been the way in the past when they engineered and kidnapped elections to achieve their desired end not withstanding the true will of the people.
“Thankfully, those days are gone and gone forever. These elections are supposed to be democratic exercises not a platform for the PDP to impose their selfish designs on a hopeful nation,”he said.
The APC spokesman, however, advised the PDP to honour and follow the sovereign will and sober dignity of the Nigerian people.
He added that the people patiently waited the additional week for Election Day to come, noting that the vast majority of Nigerians again exercised patience as they peacefully voted on Election Day.
He further added that unfortunately, isolated incidents of violence and disruption of the exercise occurred in some places which saddened the APC.
Issa-Onilu recalled that some Nigerians died on Saturday during the election, saying that this should never had happened and should never happen again during an election of any kind in the country.
He stressed that the deaths were a needless tragedy that mar what was otherwise a celebration of Nigeria’s maturing democracy.
He added that instead of the discordant and provocative statement it released, the PDP should be appealing for peace and for INEC to diligently and thoroughly perform the vital task assigned it.
Issa-Onilu alleged that majority of violent incidents and reports of electoral malpractice on the election day, emanated from PDP controlled states.
“The PDP press statement is but a continuation of the sordid games the party has mastered, while all evidence points to the misconduct of their people, they make outlandish and false claims against the APC.
“This is but the typical modus operandi of a master swindler. They seek to distract the public eye from their own wrongs, by falsely accusing the APC of the very things they had conspired to set in motion months before this election.
“From trying to falsify results on the ground to attempts at hacking the INEC software, they are willing to say and do anything to obtain victory, no matter how tainted by the wrongs they commit.
“On our part, the APC has governed and campaigned as we believed was right, because of this, we are content to await the verdict of the people,” Issa-Onilu said.
He added that the APC believe that only INEC had the authority to announce election results.
He noted that what the PDP was trying to do by claiming without any factual basis that Atiku had won the election, was to usurp INEC’s constitutional authority.
Issa-Onilu maintained that PDP’s words were rash and eruptions and may incite needless violence and unrest, adding that it should live up to the status it claimed for itself as a large political party.
He advised that the PDP should behave more responsibly instead of acting the role of “spoiled children who threaten to upset the dinner table if not fed their preferred meal”.
He encouraged INEC to do its job as mandated by law and by good conscience and “not by the screams of those who does not fully believe in good ideals.
“We hope INEC can begin to release results soon and do so in a way that protects and honours the vote of every Nigerian who cast a ballot.
“We also ask our members and supporters to exercise patience and conduct themselves peacefully. Democracy is a contest of issues and visions, not one of muscle and fighting.
“Let there be no more violence among us, remember that we are all Nigerians and belong to the same national family despite our political differences.
“On this day, may democracy and sovereign will of the electorate reign. There is no worthy substitute for this despite the malign protestations of the PDP,” Issa-Onilu said.
He maintained that if Nigeria was to stand for something, let it be democracy and assurance of a brighter future.
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