The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said the use of “primitive cheating” and deployment of heavily armed security forces to “muscle votes” for the All Progressives Congress, APC, in last Saturday’s House of Representatives bye-election in Katsina State and Kano State local council election, show that President Muhammadu Buhari and his party are no longer popular.
The party in a statement on Sunday issued by its National Publicity Aecretary, Kola Ologbodiyan, said the elections were characterised by ”outright cheating, open underaged voting and ballot stuffing, as a wholesome mockery of the electoral process.”
The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Kano State Command, had deployed heavy personnel for Saturday’s local government election in the state in addition to deployments from other sister agencies, but the election witnessed voters apathy.
The opposition party said the outcome of the polls was a negative reflection of the present APC-led government and its ability to organise successful polls.
The PDP said the fact that the APC used brute force and allocation of ballots to gain votes in the bye-election in Mashi/Dutsi Federal Constituency, ”which ordinarily should have been for them (PDP), a walk in the park, being President Buhari’s constituency”, shows that the party ”has pathetically lost it all.”
PREMIUM TIMES had earlier reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission declared APC, the winner of the supplementary election into the Mashi/Dutsi Federal constituency with 30,719 votes against 22,690 votes scored by the PDP.
However, an unimpressed PDP said the fact that it ”still held a legitimate 22,690 votes against the 30,719 fraudulently allocated to the APC”, despite the use of force and other brazen infractions by the APC, shows that ”PDP is the natural winner of the election.”
The party alleged that the APC ”corrupted security officials to use maximum force as a desperate measure to ‘save’ President Buhari, whose popularity has fallen.”
“These two elections have signified that the APC cannot win any free and fair election, even in their supposed stronghold. It further strengthens our resolve that our party, the PDP, still commands a genuine followership among Nigerians.
“In their desperation to help the President, the APC in cahoots with the inept Presidency declared war on the people by ensuring the deployment of over 1000 heavily armed and hostile security operatives for an election that held in only 15 polling units within two local governments of Katsina State. It is unfortunate that the APC has recoursed to a worst kind of intimidation and violations twelve calendar months ahead of the general elections.
“Currently PDP is compiling a comprehensive documentary evidence of infractions and irregularities including barring of legitimate voters from accessing polling centres, assigning of polling units to APC government functionaries, indiscriminate arrests of opposition members and supporters, under-aged voting and allocation of votes for APC as well as conflict between results from the polling units and collation centers among others.
“Also being compiled is the identity(ies) of the security and electoral officials used by the APC to subvert the will of the people, which will be made public while ensuring that they are prosecuted.”
The party also issued a warning to the ruling APC.
“The clear message to the APC is that the will of the people will prevail in 2019 as Nigerians will never allow the shameful impunity and suppression witnessed in Katsina and Kano during last Saturday’s election as they will be fully rallied to resist such across board,” the party said.
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