The presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has rejected the reported plan by President Muhammadu Buhari to use the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the forthcoming elections in some northern states, including Borno, Adamawa and Kaduna, to give the APC-led federal government enough time to concentrate efforts to rig in those states on a later date.
In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by Atiku’s Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, the PDP presidential candidate warned that failure to hold elections on the same day across the country would be an invitation to rigging, thuggery and violence.
‘’Anything short of a simultaneous holding of the scheduled elections across the country on Saturday is not acceptable to us,’’ Atiku said.
He said reports available to the PDP said the deal struck at a closed-door meeting yesterday between the federal government and the Governors of Borno, Adamawa and Kaduna States reflected the desperation of the APC to ‘’capture’’ the states and some others through election postponement.
‘’The deal, cut at a meeting with some northern governors and service chiefs in the presidential villa in Abuja is simple: The federal government will shift election in northern states of Borno, Adamawa and Kaduna, citing security concerns to provide the APC the opportunity use security agents to massively rig polls in those state at a later date,’’ the statement said.
Atiku said the implication of the plot is that President Buhari, “for all his sweet words on ensuring free and fair elections and avoiding unethical measures to win at all costs, is ready to do anything just to ‘’capture’’ Borno, Adamawa, Kaduna and other states using security reasons as a pretext”.
The PDP presidential candidate, however, said his party would not lose any sleep over the ignoble deal, since the battle to rescue Nigeria from incompetence and bad leadership will be fought by the people themselves and not by some desperate APC governors and or President Buhari .
He said Nigerians were aware that the APC- led federal government has failed in all their despicable options to enable them to cling on to power and was now resorting to the idea of shifting elections.
Atiku said his persistent demand for a strict adherence to the right way of doing things, as far as the 2019 general election are concerned, is in the overall interest of Nigerians and the growth of democracy.