The 2019 Presidential election would have a big spread in Nigeria’s history books considering that it is one of the election that has generated the most intense controversy and backlash in the history of electioneering process in Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari made the 2019 Presidential election a tight race when he decided to contest for re-election under his party, All Progressives Congress (APC) and was given the mandate unanimously.
However, when it came to his major challenger which would emerge from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigerians were looking forward to who would emerge as the party’s flag-bearer noting that Senate President Bukola Saraki, Sule Lamido of Jigawa State, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State, Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of Adamawa State, amongst others showed interest in the position.
But, after a highly contested primaries, Abubakar emerged the winner of the primaries conducted at the party’s national convention of Port-Harcourt.
The contest became more intense as other parties came out with their presidential candidate and the race began for who would become the next president of the county, even though, it was a race that either the APC or PDP was tipped to be the winner.
After the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) rescheduled the election from February 16 to February 23, it was received with many negative comment from all sides of the isle but the election eventually held on the rescheduled date.
The collation of the result for the Presidential election took INEC about three days before it declared a winner which was President Muhammadu Buhari, who beat Atiku Abubakar with about 4million vote margin.
Abubakar, who had already began condemning the collated results as it was released by INEC rejected the final result, refused to congratulate Buhari and headed to the court where he vowed to recover his stolen mandate.
The presidential hopeful secured his first win at the tribunal when it ruled that he should be granted access to review electoral materials used for the election.
However, Abubakar filed his petition challenging the election outcome last week and he claimed that he secured maximum win in almost every state in the country
According to the petition filed, Abubakar is laying claim to Kogi, Kaduna, Gombe and Niger states as the states where he had maximum votes.
In his petition, the PDP candidate claimed that from the INEC server “state to state computation”, he polled 18,356,732 votes to defeat Mr Buhari whom he said scored 16,741,430 votes with a margin of 1,615,302 votes.
He also disclosed that Buhari did not win in 19 states as claimed by INEC but in 15 states while he won in 21 states unlike the 17 given to him by INEC.
In reaction to Atiku’s claims, the Inspector General of Police (IG-P) and the Director General of State Security Service (DG, DSS) has just been petitioned to invite, interrogate and investigate the PDP leadership and Abubakar, over their illegal access to the server of the INEC.
The petition was brought against Atiku and the PDP by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Organization and signed by the Director of Strategic Communications for the council, Festus Keyamo (SAN).
The petition reads: “It would be recalled that an Electoral (Amendment) Bill containing the provision for electronic transmission of results to INEC’s central computer system (otherwise called “server”) was sent to President Muhammadu Buhari by the National Assembly for assent late in the year 2018.
“Despite the shortness of time before the Presidential/National Assembly Elections, and the lack of time to first simulate the process to ensure its effectiveness in a country like ours with problems of effective networks in many rural areas and constant failure of technological devices, together with its violation of the time frame of such laws as provided for in regional and continental Protocols in terms of the length of time required for the passage of such laws before any major election, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party was hell-bent that the President should sign the Bill into law. That was the first indication that the main opposition was up to something sinister regarding the electronic transmission of the results.
“Upon the last-minute postponement of the February 16, 2019, Presidential/National Assembly Elections, the nation was shocked to see already prepared presidential elections results floating around in the cyberspace just less than 24 hours after the postponed election was originally billed to hold! The fake results had details of the scores of the candidates of the major parties. Of course, the fake results gave victory to the candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, even when elections did not hold.
“The only conclusion one can draw from the above is that the PDP had prepared those results which were to be smuggled into the INEC Server. However, the sudden postponement of the election scuttled that evil plan, but it was too late to restrain the release of the fake results. The proper elections were held on February 23, 2019 and President Muhammadu Buhari declared the winner. Despite the approval of the elections as credible by nearly all local and international observers (except some few known PDP acolytes masquerading as local observers), the PDP cried foul and made a shocking claim: it claimed that from purported results it obtained from INEC’s server, it has so-called proof that its candidate won the election by about 1.6million votes!
“Shockingly and coincidentally, this margin was about the same margin by which it also purportedly “won” by the fake results released just hours after the postponement of the February 16, 2019 Presidential/National Assembly Elections. As if this expensive joke was not enough, the PDP and its Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, have gone ahead to file an Election Petition against the clear victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and have repeated the same outlandish claim of having access to INEC’s server which shows that they have some purported results at their disposal giving “victory” to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
“Sirs, we wish you to note that INEC’s server is the back end of electronic records of INEC. This is not INEC’s website but its server! Although, the purported results have been conclusively shown by public engagements to be false and even ridiculous, especially as the total number of accredited voters is exactly equivalent to the purported votes of the APC and PDP candidates, this criminal claim of the PDP has revealed a few things:
“It is now clear that some criminally-minded PDP operatives have access to the INEC server to be able to smuggle in fake results into that server. The only means by which they could have access to the INEC server is by the criminal hacking of the server or through the criminal conspiracy of some INEC officials.
“The APC Presidential Campaign Council hereby prays that the Inspector-General of Police and the Director-General of the Department of State Services use your good offices to investigate the hacking of and/or illegal tampering with the INEC server by the PDP. The leadership of the PDP must be invited, interrogated and investigated and those identified as perpetrators must be arrested and prosecuted.
“Opposition is healthy in a democracy but it is not a license for criminality and illegality. A country governed by laws cannot be blackmailed or cowed into indolence by the perceived underdog status of the opposition so as to condone such a blatant criminal claim by the PDP of having illegal access to INEC’s server.
“We trust you will act with alacrity.”
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