The two main contestants in the presidential election held on February 23 have responded to the declaration of the winner by the chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, early Wednesday morning.
APC candidate Muhammadu Buhari’s statement:
My Dear Nigerians,
First and foremost, I give thanks to Almighty God who has spared our lives to witness another victory for Nigerian democracy and victory for our party APC.
I thank the millions of Nigerians who voted to re-elect me as your president for the next four years. I am deeply humbled and profoundly grateful to you for judging me worthy of continuing to serve you and for your peaceful conduct.
In particular, I would like to thank Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for his masterful leadership as Co-chair of the Campaign Council. I would like to also thank the Party Chairman Adams Oshiomhole, the Director General of the Campaign Council Rotimi Amaechi, all members of the Presidential Campaign Council and other various support groups.
My grateful thanks to all those who contributed to the logistical expenses of the campaign in such a vast country like Nigeria.
I also thank the millions of volunteers, self-appointed overseers, canvassers, agents, escorts and sentries who sacrificed so much of their time and resources to ensure the success of these elections. I do not have the words adequate to thank them.
Although Saturday’s elections were relatively peaceful, troublemakers in a handful of states attempted to disrupt an otherwise orderly process. Security agencies will bring to justice all those arrested in the process.
I am very sad at the grievous loss of lives during these elections. Security agencies will step up their efforts to protect voters in the forthcoming state elections.
I would like to commend our security agencies, as severely overstretched as they are, for handling the difficult task of securing the country during the election period.
I will like to make a special appeal to my supporters not to gloat or humiliate the opposition. Victory is enough reward for your efforts.
We give thanks also to our domestic and international observers for contributing to the success of our elections and for their interest in our country and our developing democracy.
The new Administration will intensify its efforts in Security, Restructuring the Economy and Fighting Corruption. We have laid down the foundation and we are committed to seeing matters to the end. We will strive to strengthen our unity and inclusiveness so that no section or group will feel left behind or left out.
I thank you for your support and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
PDP candidate Atiku Abubakar’s statement:
I thank the Nigerian people who trooped out in their millions to perform their civic duty this past Saturday. The patriotism of Nigerians is heart-warming and affirms my oft-repeated statement that we are brothers and sisters born from the womb of one mother Nigeria.
With regards to the presidential elections that took place on February 23, 2019, it is clear that there were manifest and premeditated malpractices in many states which negate the results announced.
One obvious red flag is the statistical impossibility of states ravaged by the war on terror generating much higher voter turnouts than peaceful states. The suppressed votes in my strongholds are so apparent and amateurish that I am ashamed as a Nigerian that such could be allowed to happen. How can total votes in Akwa Ibom, for instance, be 50% less than what they were in 2015?
Another glaring anomaly is the disruption of voting in strongholds of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and diverse other states, with the authorities doing little or nothing and in some cases facilitating these unfortunate situations. (See attached links to documentary evidences.)
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. This is condemnable and should not be associated with our electoral process in the future.
I am a democrat and there are democratic avenues available to present the truth to the nation and the watching world. Already, many international observers have given their verdicts, which corroborate our observations. I am sure more will come in the coming hours and days.
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.
However, 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. 2007 was a challenge, but President Yar’Adua was remorseful. In 2019, it is sad to see those who trampled on democracy thumping their noses down on the Nigerian people.
Consequently, I hereby reject the result of the February 23, 2019, sham election and will be challenging it in court.
I want to assure my supporters and the entire Nigerian people that, together, we will not allow democracy to be emasculated.
I hope and pray Nigerians will someday summon the courage to defend democracy. That is the only way we can move away from being the world headquarters for extreme poverty.
Below is the documentary evidence provided by the PDP candidate:
1. Electoral violence: Video
2. Unknown gunmen disrupting election in Buguma, Rivers State: Video
3. In Bonny, Rivers State: military shooting in all directions as voters and INEC officials scamper to safety: Video
5. Evidence of rigging. Video
6. Thugs unleashed on a section of PDP stronghold in Lagos and set ablaze already cast ballots. Video
7. Yet more violence being unleashed on voters in Lagos Video
8. Thugs unleashed on PDP stronghold in Lagos while security men simply stand and watch. Video
9. Elections materials burnt in Ago Palace Way, Isolo Lagos, as voters scamper for safety. Video
10. Thugs drive away voters in Lagos. Video
12. Incomplete presidential ballot paper booklet. Video
13. Diversion of voting materials and results in Okrika LGA, Rivers State. Video
14. Violence in Gokana, Rivers State. Video
15. Corps member killed. Picture
16. Destruction of ballot boxes at Alafia Street, Coker Aguda, Surulere. Video