The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday rejected the provisional presidential election results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) showing the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC)m in the lead.
The PDP accused both INEC and APC of being in “collusion”.
The PDP said the initial results announced by INEC were unacceptable, alleging the ruling APC and state security agents were working with the commission to manipulate the vote.
“The results are incorrect and unacceptable to our party. Officials of the APC, working with INEC, have decided to alter results to affect our people,” PDP chairman Uche Secondus told journalists.
“INEC must live up to its responsibility. They are under pressure. We have the facts and when the time comes, we will begin to release them,” Secondus said.
“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.”
He said this was being done in full view of the ‘watching world’, and in spite of the commitment by PDP and its agents to adhere to every laid down rule for the 2019 general elections,
“As results trickled in on Sunday, Feb. 24th, 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.
“For example, the minister of the interior was dispatched to the North West of the country.
“The Secretary of the Government of the Federation was dispatched to the North East of the country; while the Attorney General and Minister were dispatched to the South East and South-South regions”.
There was no immediate response from the electoral commission.
Some civil society activists backed the opposition party’s rejection of the results and its accusations.
“The decision of the PDP to reject the results is apt, based on the outrageous intimidation, suppression, violence and outright falsification of results that proliferate the entire exercise,” Segun Awosanya, a civil rights advocate, said.
“What is being reeled out now are outrageous statistical anomalies, which is a far cry from the wishes of the people.”
Some opposition leaders and supporters were arrested by security operatives before and after the delayed presidential and legislative elections.
One of those picked up a day after the polls was Buba Galadima, spokesman of the PDP’s opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar. His family said his whereabouts remain unknown since he was whisked away by masked gunmen on Sunday.
“I call for Buba Galadima’s immediate and unconditional release, as well as that of all officials and agents of the PDP in the southwest, who were mostly arrested on the eve of the elections, where intimidation became the APCs sole election strategy,” said Secondus.
The fear of more violence continues to surround the vote. At least 39 people were killed during Saturday’s elections, according to civil society groups.
More than 260 people were also killed during election campaign violence between October and February.
“The late commencement of polls and delivery of voting materials, and security issues are our concerns,” Clement Nwankwo, convener of Situation Room, a monitoring mission made up of more than 70 civil society groups, said.
“This is not an improvement on previous elections conducted in the country,” Nwankwo added. – Agency report.