By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has said that hope is not lost, in spite of the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as the winner of Saturday’s election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Atiku in an earlier statement on Wednesday rejected the outcome of the election, saying he was heading to court.
Atiku at a world press conference in Abuja, he commended Nigerians for choosing democracy and for voting for him on Saturday, urging them to remain calm.
“For my fellow Nigerians who feel angry, disillusion and let down by the process, I appeal to you to remain calm and steadfast, Rome was not built in a day.
“We have the real figures, we have the facts that have spoken so loudly on Saturday, February 23, 2019.
“As I have always said, this year is my three decades in Nigeria’s struggle for democracy, and this is the worst election in those 30 years.
“I told Gen. Abdsulsalami Abubakar two nights ago when he called me that not even the military conducted such a worst election.
“This is a long journey but I am confident of victory. All hope is not lost, stay strong. By the grace of God we shall triumph,” he said.
Abubakar said that “Democracy is the government of the people and by the people only when the people’s choice prevails”.
He alleged that on the election day, Nigerians witnessed the implementation of grand theft of the people’s will.
He said that in Akwa Ibom for instance, the result showed a statistical impossibility of a 62 per cent drop in voters’ numbers from the 2015 elections, even where voter registration and Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) collection rates were much higher.
“This is why voter suppression took place.
“This pattern was repeated in strongholds of PDP including in states like Delta, Rivers, Abia and Benue States.
“As this was occurring, we saw another statistical impossibility where the real numbers tallied in numbers increased astronomically in Borno State by an almost miraculous 82 per cent in the midst of insecurity.
“This pattern was also repeated in other strongholds of the APC states.
“One begins to ask if insecurity is conducive to higher voter turnout and security is antithetical to high voter turnout,” he said.
Atiku said that it was curious that the PDP’s margin of victory in states outside the South/East and South/South were extremely slim across board, describing it again as a statistical impossibility.
He said that the figures declared by INEC as results of Feb. 23 elections “do not add up at all’’.
“My dear Nigerians, it is for this reason that I Atiku Abubakar reject the result declared by the INEC which declared Muhammadu Buhari as duly returned by the majority of the lawful votes.
“I am conferring with not just my party but also Nigerian people on the next step which will be revealed to the public shortly,’’ he said.
He, however, urged the international investors and friends of Nigeria not to poll out of the country (NAN).