The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has written to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), accusing it of colluding with the All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig the February 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The party stated this in a letter signed by its National Chairman, Uche Secondus, which was presented to INEC during a protest staged by the party on Tuesday.
Some leaders of the party marched to the headquarters of INEC on Tuesday to protest the outcome of the presidential election.
According to a tweet by INEC, Mr Secondus led many of his party’s supporters to the commission’s office at Maitama around 3 p.m. on Tuesday.
In the letter by the party, they accused the APC led federal government and INEC of militarisation of polls in its strongholds and skewing the process in the favour of the ruling party.
Mr Secondus said the letter became imperative as the nation approached the governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections on March 9.
The letter which was titled ‘Cases of infractions and deliberate violations of the electoral law and guidelines,’ was made available to journalists.
It read, “We want to place on record and bring to your attention the very obvious and noticeable infractions and violations of the Electoral Law and the Regulations/Guidelines regulating the 2019 general elections which have very negative implications on the credibility, transparency and integrity of the entire electoral processes particularly the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections.
“We observed with regrets that the usage of the SCR machines was enforced strategically in the South-South, South-East and the North-Central zones of the country which are essentially the PDP strongholds. This is radically different from what transpired in the North-West, North-East and the South-West, which were estimated as the APC strongholds.
“This is quite contrary to the provisions of paragraph 10(a) & (b) of the regulations and guidelines governing the 2019 General Elections and all the assurances you, Prof. Yakub Mahmood, frequently gave up to the last hours before the elections.
“The deliberate non-deployment of the Electronic Collation System (E-Collation) for the elections results from the units, through the ward centres to the Presidential Collation Centre in Abuja as provided for in the 2019 Electoral Regulations and Guidelines made by you, and as contained in your several official press statements is very suspect.
“This is more so when you have never bothered to explain to Nigerians the justification for this sudden official somersault on such a critical component of the electoral process especially with all the taxpayer’s money spent to install the facilities.
“The unconstitutional deployment of the armed forces especially soldiers and police for the illegitimate purposes to harassing, intimidating, suppressing of leaders of the PDP and suppression of voters in the PDP strongholds across the country which are very well known to you.
“The use of these same security agents by the government to harass and intimidate Resident Electoral Commissioners and certain INEC national commissioners for the sake of forcing them to declare votes for the APC’s candidates throughout the country has been officially or otherwise brought to your knowledge by the affected officers who even threatened to resign from their positions, yet you have decided to keep mute over it in a way portraying outright conspiracy and collusion of yourself and the commission with the APC government perpetrators.”
The party also said most of the collation centres in the country were cordoned off by officers and men of the armed forces who allegedly chased its accredited agents and/or candidates.
He said results of the elections from such units were being manipulated, mutilated and altered to suit the dictates and “criminal” desires of the APC-led government.
“These results that were tampered with were accepted by you and your commission and announced as the results of the elections.
“In places like Lagos, Rivers, Nasarawa, Abia, Benue, Plateau, Ondo, Osun states et al, results of duly conducted elections were illegally cancelled especially in the PDP dominated areas to reduce the margin of victory in those states in favour of the APC candidates. Is it not surprising to you that the Lagos State with over six million voters can only return less than one million votes? This was the case in virtually all the PDP dominated states where voter suppression was deployed as a major strategy by you and the APC government in active collaboration with some of your unscrupulous RECs and staffers.
“We have taken time to chronicle the above fundamental deliberate violations and infractions of the Electoral Law, Regulations and Guidelines and all known canons of electoral best practices by your commission in obvious complicity and collaboration with the APC and security agencies to rig the elections and rob our party of victory.
“We want to remind you that as we inch towards Saturday, March 9, 2019 elections, you must do everything to right these grave anomalies to save yourself and the commission from this woeful embarrassment as you may go down in history as the worst Chairman of INEC in our history.”
He also cautioned INEC against militarising the electoral process, adding that such was undemocratic.
The party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, had rejected the result of the poll as declared by INEC.
INEC had declared President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC as winner of the election and returned him as duly elected.
Mr Buhari, according to the electoral body, scored 15,191,847 votes. Mr Abubakar garnered 11,262,978 votes to finish as runner-up.
But in his response to the declaration, the PDP candidate said the result was unacceptable to him and he would challenge it in court.
He has since commenced the process of judicial redress.