–Polling station workers prepare card readers, ballot and boxes to start the Election Day at Unguwar Sarki polling station in Kaduna on February 23, 2019, as Nigeria votes to elect its new president. – Nigerians began voting for a new president on February 23, after a week-long delay that has raised political tempers, sparked conspiracy claims and stoked fears of violence. Some 120,000 polling stations began opening from 0700 GMT, although there were indications of a delay in the delivery of some materials and deployment of staff, AFP reporters said. The presidential contest will see incumbent Muhammadu Buhari (APC) seek to win a second four-year term against former vice president Atiku Abubakar (PDP). (Photo AFP)
ABUJA – The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has rejected the cancellation of 157, 591 votes in the Presidential election in Nasarawa state by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Monday, National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus said the party was armed with original vote figures announced across the polling units nationwide.
“With the INEC IT server hacked by agents of the APC to manipulate results, we can with certainty state that results from the following polling units have, for example, been tampered with, “Sarkin Dawaki ward in Doma, Doka ward in Doma local government area of Nasarawa state; Agyaragin – Tofa ward 10, 000 illegal votes added to already announced results in Wurno local government area in Sokoto state.
“Additionally, violent and destructive attacks have been meted out to officials during counting at Lafia and police barracks polling units.
“I want to categorically state that our agents at the collation centres have all original results from every polling unit, in every ward, in every Local government area in Nigeria, of which the international community is well aware, implying all results currently being announced by INEC are incorrect thus unacceptable to our party and people.
“Secondly, officials of both President Buhari’s government and the All Progressive Congress APC, working with INEC officers, have tried to alter the course of history and disenfranchise our people through the cancellation and manipulation of figures for results already announced at polling units, nationwide, in local government areas where our party, the PDP, had commanding votes.
“The ruling party’s strategy has indeed been murderous, undignified, and disrespectful of the wishes of the electorate, our people and the international community who have been in solidarity with our nation as we attempt to strengthen our democracy and its institutions,” he said.
Secondus also expressed worry that “in full view of the watching world, and despite efforts by our great party and its agents to adhere to every laid down provision for the 2019 general elections, the APC in collusion with INEC have taken aggressive steps, mostly through inducements, manipulation and incarcerations, using the elements of state power including the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigerian Army in particular, alongside other organizations including the Department of State Security, DSS and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to silence the voices of our long suffering people; this is disheartening, considering the terms of the peace accord, which called for impartiality and non-partisanship by members of our security organization with constitutional roles to play during this civic exercise.”
The PDP chair added that “as results trickled in on the Sunday, February 24th, 2019, clearly putting the PDP in the lead, the ruling party and President Buhari dispatched high-ranking officials to coercively influence outcomes in different geopolitical zones in the country.”
He alleged that “Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Danbazzau was dispatched to the North West of the country, Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha was dispatched to the North East of the country; while the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami was dispatched to the South East and South-South regions,” ostensibly to compromise the process.
The PDP also claimed its agents were subjected to untold harassment simply for pointing out some irregularities.
“As if these provocations are not enough, our agents and officials are constantly arrested and in many cases locked-up for complaining that card readers were not in use in many northern states, implying that all results from the northern part of the country where card readers were not used should be voided in accordance with INEC guidelines.”
Secondus also called for the immediate release of Alhaji Buba Galadima, describing him as “a great symbol of what is courageous.”
He appealed to the leadership of INEC to remain neutral and impartial, stressing that the PDP would have course to celebrate at the end of the entire electoral process.