The Peoples Democratic Party on Friday said that it was wrong for President Muhammadu Buhari to have congratulated the All Progressives Congress candidate in the Osun State governorship election, Adegboyega Oyetola.
It said that the President by the action, had shown that the Presidency was behind the alleged electoral manipulations, outright rigging and bloodletting that the PDP said marred the process.
In a statement in Abuja on Friday, the PDP said it was sad that Buhari chose to ignore the observations of both local and international observers who he said monitored the rerun.
“Nothing can be more reprehensive; while the entire world is condemning the process and the blood of the innocent that were maimed by the APC thugs is yet to dry on the streets of Osun State, the Presidency and the APC are busy celebrating a stolen mandate,” the party said.
This came just as civil rights groups and chieftains of the PDP, including the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki and ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, berated the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Buhari-led administration over the conduct of the Osun State governorship election.
Osun poll, a demonstration of tyranny – Atiku
Atiku, in a statement on Friday, described the declaration of the candidate of the APC in the election, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, as the winner as triumph of tyranny.
He said the announcement did not tally with what happened in the state on Saturday, September 22, and Thursday when the rerun in seven polling units was held.
According to him, the PDP candidate in the election, Senator Ademola Adeleke, won the poll.
The former Vice-President stated, “The result just declared today (Friday) in Osun by the INEC in favour of the APC and its candidate is a travesty of justice. That was not democracy. That was a demonstration of tyranny.
“The victory of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ademola Adeleke, was firmly established last week on Saturday the 22nd of September, 2018.
“This so-called victory of the APC is not a democratic victory. Observers, both foreign and domestic, reported the brazen intimidation of voters and outright suppression of voting in the PDP strongholds with even the PDP agents physically prevented from being at the polling units.”
It is an embarrassment to Nigeria’s democracy –Saraki
On his part, Saraki said the supplementary election was a charade and an embarrassment to Nigeria’s democracy.
In a statement on Friday in Abuja by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki stated that the rerun was not needed in the first instance while the supplementary poll was unfair.
The statement read, “Yesterday (Friday), we witnessed another display of the subversion of the will of the Osun people during the rerun gubernatorial election in the state. The election was characterised by widespread voter intimidation, violence and harassment. Accredited observers were denied access to polling units and duly registered voters were prevented from participating in the electoral process by thugs and compromised security agents.
“Like I said a few days ago, this needless rerun election was only designed as an avenue for the ruling party to perpetrate electoral fraud. The nature of this election is an embarrassment to our democracy and casts an alarming pall on the institutions responsible for protecting the will of the Nigerian people as stated through their votes. That was why for more than 10 hours, INEC could not collate and announce results in just seven polling units with just over 2,000 votes.”
PDP calls for Yakubu’s resignation
Meanwhile, the National Executive Committee of the PDP called for the resignation of the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, stated this while briefing journalists after the NEC meeting on Thursday.
The party accused the Yakubu-led INEC of connivance and manipulations of the electoral process in Thursday’s governorship rerun in Osun State.
The PDP spokesman said, “NEC warned against allowing the current INEC leadership under Prof. Mahmood Yakubu to continue in office as it has shown it cannot conduct a free, fair and credible election at any level.”
INEC declines comment
However, INEC refused to make any comment on the PDP allegations on Friday. Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, declined to speak on the matter.
A top source in the commission, however, said, “This is the fifth or sixth time that the PDP would make such call for the chairman’s resignation and all is because of the elections that they have lost. In a democracy, when you are the loser, it is easy to make noise.”