Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the main opposition party in Nigeria has rejected the results of the presidential poll announced in the early hours of Wednesday by INEC, the country’s electoral commission.
Atiku who garnered 11,262,978 votes against President Muhammadu Buhari’s 15,191,847 votes cited irregularities that he said questions the integrity of the vote.
“In my democratic struggles for the past three decades, I have never seen our democracy so debased as it was on Saturday, February 23, 2019,” he announced, Wednesday morning, on Twitter.
Atiku decried voter suppression and bogus numbers from areas ravaged by terror attacks in the north eastern part of the country
“One obvious red flag is the statistical impossibility of states ravaged by the war on terror generating much higher voter turnouts than peaceful states,” he noted. For instance, in Gwoza, one of the local governments that have been attacked at different times by terror group Boko Haram had more than 100,000 votes reported, with the ruling All Progressives Congress getting more than 90,000 votes. This happened despite the fact that some residents of Gwoza, who fled the place in 2014 following terror attacks never returned.
Atiku also cited attacks recorded in areas regarded as his stronghold in Lagos where voters were harassed by hoodlums and in some cases balolot papers burnt.
“The militarization of the electoral process is a disservice to our democracy and a throwback to the jackboot era of military dictatorship. In some areas of the country, such as, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Imo states, troops deployed for the elections turned their guns on the very citizens they were meant to protect,” Atiku added.
Atiku said his observations can be corroborated by many international observers and some have given their verdicts on this.
“If I had lost in a free and fair election, I would have called the victor within seconds of my being aware of his victory to offer not just my congratulations, but my services to help unite Nigeria by being a bridge between the North and the South.
“I am a democrat and there are democratic avenues available to present the truth to the nation and the watching world. Consequently, I hereby reject the result of the February 23, 2019 sham election and will be challenging it in court,” Atiku stated.