Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has thanked Nigerians for turning out to vote for him in their millions while stating that the results collated so far showed he was on his way to victory. Atiku, who stated this on Sunday morning in a statement by his campaign spokesperson, Phrank Shaibu, added that the initial indications from the PDPs simultaneous vote count (SVC) showed that the victory of the PDP was assured.
Atiku said: “With strong shares of vote in SS, SE as well as an increased share in SW and NC we are very pleased with the progress the PDP has made. We look forward to sharing some exciting news in other parts of the country very soon, which will confound all the armchair pundits.
“I would like to sincerely thank the millions of people who, despite having to bear the additional burden of a postponed election, came out yesterday to vote for me and the other PDP candidates standing in this election.”
Atiku explained that his conclusion concerning the outcome of the presidential poll was based on the PDP’s high tech, cloud-based SVC system, which is able to collate in real-time the results from the 176,000 voting points across the nation.
“The people of Nigeria can take solace that very soon the living nightmare of the last four years will come to an end so that together we will get Nigeria working again,” he said.
The PDP presidential candidate tasked Nigerians on the need to maximise their eternal vigilance in the next 48 hours to prevent the majority votes recorded at the polling units being disrupted by APC forces at the collation centres.
“I am familiar with how brazen and the complete lack of shame the APC can exhibit, but even I was shocked to witness just how low they went last night by accusing the PDP of ‘recruiting armed thugs’ to do just that. Why would we want to do that when we are winning?
“Furthermore, I would like to say how proud I was of PDP supporters who conducted themselves so peacefully despite the significant provocations and threats of violence, removal and burning of ballot boxes and the likes.”
The former vice president also thanked security forces and election officials who conducted their duties with exemplary professionalism but tasked President Muhammadu Buhari on his promise of a free and fair election.
He said, “General Buhari you have promised our people and the world that you would conduct ‘free, fair and credible elections’ so please call off the wilder elements within your party and deliver on your promise.”
Meanwhile, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has raised the alarm over an alleged plot to declare inconclusive the presidential results in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
This came from spokesman of CUPP, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, in a statement on Sunday.
The coalition alleged that the FCT Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) staff and the resident electoral commissioner (REC) have caved in to pressure from security agencies and APC chieftains, working on the instructions of President Buhari, to cancel some Area Council presidential election results won by the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
According to Ugochinyere, “We have obtained credible intelligence from insiders that the FCT INEC staff and the REC have caved in to pressure from security agencies and APC chieftains working on the instructions of President Buhari to cancel some Area Council presidential election results that was won overwhelmingly by the opposition candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and declare the FCT election inconclusive to enable the president and the APC to fully prepare with security agencies to write results in those areas during a rerun.
“President Buhari and his team, after the FCT results were tabulated, realised that not only did Atiku defeat him in FCT but that he could not score 25 percent of the vote cast, hence the plan to cancel results from the remote areas of Bwari, Abaji, etc to help declare FCT inconclusive.
“The world monitored the election in Abuja and know that Atiku led Buhari with wide margins despite all the rampage visited on voters in the remote areas of the FCT.
“We call on INEC chairman to back down from the evil plan of his men working with outgoing Buhari to declare election inconclusive in FCT or any other part of the country as this will be an invitation to anarchy. The will of the people of FCT given to Atiku must be respected.”
In a related development, the CUPP has revealed an alleged plot by North West and North East governors to inflate the number of votes scored by President Muhammadu Buhari in those regions so as to neutralize the landslide lead of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the other four geopolitical zones.
The coalition said: “The CUPP is in possession of irrefutable evidence that APC governors of the North West and some of North East geopolitical zones are working assiduously to inflate the number of votes scored by President Muhammadu Buhari in those regions so as to neutralize the landslide lead of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the other four geopolitical zones.”
The CUPP alleged that the governors were working with the military to achieve their aim.
It added: “They have most shockingly secured the ignoble collaboration of the Nigerian army which has begun to give cover to APC chieftains and compromised electoral officers to hold back the results from the areas and to later attempt to smuggle in the inflated results.
“Also, having confirmed from their situation room that the numbers do not add up and that President Buhari also failed to secure the constitutional 25% of the votes cast in each of two thirds of the states of the federation, the president and his party are mounting pressure on the Enugu State governor and the state resident electoral commissioner, including other South East states, to alter some results so as to award at least 25% of the votes to the president.
“It is instructive that President Buhari did not secure the 25% votes in any of the states of the South East. It is also in this same light that the outgoing administration is plotting to frantically to declare the results of the FCT as inconclusive so as to order a rerun where they will use security and thugs to intimidate the people.
“We hereby call on the electoral commission not to cancel any results already declared where no incidents were recorded but only for the president to have the opportunity to have an unmerited second chance.”