The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the resort to deployment of heavily armed security forces to muscle votes for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in last Saturday’s House of Representatives bye-election in Katsina state has further shown that President Muhammadu Buhari and his party have completely lost popularity among Nigerians, even in the President’s home state.
The party also described the last Saturday’s Kano state local council election, which was also characterized by outright cheating, open underaged voting and ballot stuffing, as a wholesome mockery of electoral process.
The party believed these two elections have signified that the APC cannot win any free and fair election, even in their stronghold.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement on Sunday, said the fact that the APC had to resort to brute force and allocation of ballots to gain votes in the bye-election in Mashi/Dutsi Federal Constituency, which ordinarily should have been for them, a walk in the park, being President Buhari’s constituency, shows that the party has pathetically lost it all.
The PDP said the fact that it still held a legitimate 22,690 votes against the 30,719 fraudulently allocated to the APC, despite the use of force and other brazen infractions by the APC, shows that PDP is the natural winner of the election.
“It further strengthens our resolve that our party, the PDP, still commands a genuine followership among Nigerians.
“We however invite Nigerians and the international community to mark how the APC and its controlled Federal Government are corrupting our electoral system, by using force to intimidate the people and steal their votes.
“The APC is also corrupting security officials to use maximum force as a desperate measure to save President Buhari, whose popularity had dipped across our nation.
“In their desperation to help the President, the APC in cahoot with the inept Presidency declared war on the people by ensuring the deployment of over 1,000 heavily armed and hostile security operatives for an election that held in only 15 polling units within two local governments of Katsina State.
“It is unfortunate that the APC has recoursed to worst kind of intimidation and violations twelve calendar months ahead of the general elections.
“Currently, the PDP is compiling a comprehensive documentary evidence of infractions and irregularities including barring of legitimate voters from accessing polling centers, assigning of polling units to APC government functionaries, indiscriminate arrests of opposition members and supporters, underaged voting and allocation of votes for APC as well as conflict between results from the polling units and collation centers among others.
“Also being compiled is the identity of the security and electoral officials used by the APC to subvert the will of the people, which will be made public while ensuring that they are prosecuted.
“The clear message to the APC is that the will of the people will prevail in 2019 as Nigerians will never allow the shameful impunity and suppression witnessed in Katsina and Kano during last Saturday’s election as they will be fully rallied to resist such across board”, the party said.
The PDP, however, urged its members in both states to remain calm as it takes decisive but legitimate steps to reclaim their stolen mandate.