The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement that he would not interfere in the supplementary governorship election in five states is an indication that he rigged the presidential election in his favour.
The opposition party said this in a statement issued by Kola Ologbondiyan, its National Publicity Secretary, on Monday in a response to the president’s statement.
In a statement issued by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, on Monday, the presidency said all members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who are on the ballot for the supplementary elections will have to work hard to earn the peoples rather than depend on President Buhari to interfere with the electoral process.
But the PDP said such statement from the presidency is a “direct confession” that President Buhari allegedly manipulated the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to rig the presidential election in his favour.
The opposition party added that the statement is “a fresh subterfuge to divert public attention from APC’s rigging plots ahead of the Supplementary elections.
The statement read: “The Presidency’s confession that APC members are mounting pressure on President Buhari to help them to rig the supplementary elections further confirms the Buhari Presidency’s manipulative and rigging capacity, including militarisation of the electoral process, instigating of violence and alteration of results, as were freely used by the APC in the Presidential election.
“The PDP alerts Nigerians, especially those in states where the supplementary elections have been scheduled to hold, to be wary of the antics of the Buhari Presidency, as it has never been committed to free, fair and credible election.”
The party noted that President Buhari failed to fulfil his promise to conduct credible elections at the initial timeframe and feared that the same scenario might repeat itself during the governorship re-run.
The PDP also questioned whether the president would deploy any soldier for the re-run in the five states affected.
“Nigerians can recall that ahead of the Presidential and National Assembly elections, President Buhari had promised to allow for a free, fair, transparent and credible process, only for his Presidency and party, the APC, to engage in downright manipulations at INEC, deployment of military and thugs to intimidate and suppress voters, as well as outright alteration of results delivered from the polling units.
“President Buhari cannot exonerate himself of the harm inflicted on our polity by the deployment of soldiers in the 2019 general election, as nobody deploys the military except the president and commander-in-chief.
“Now that President Buhari, in his official capacity, has come out to state that he will not intervene in the March 23 Supplementary election. We ask, is Mr President assuring Nigerians that any ‘soldier’ seen directly involved in the rerun election is fake and should be treated as such?”
The PDP warned INEC and the military to take notice of the president’s comments and asked both organisations to conduct their functions in a professional manner devoid of belittling the supplementary elections.
The supplementary governorship elections were initially scheduled to hold in six states: Bauchi, Kano, Benue, Plateau, Adamawa and Sokoto states.
However, INEC rescinded its decision on Bauchi State, noting that it would continue with the collation of results on Tuesday (today).