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2019 elections: The untold stories

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Says, Nigerians voted PDP, not APC

National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, in this interview with The Nigerian Xpress’ ROSE MOSES, looks at the just-concluded general elections and declares categorically that his party won the election but was robbed of victory by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) with the help of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the military, which, he alleged, was deployed by the ruling party to intimidate, scare away and frustrate voters.

The PDP chairman, who described the exercise as a great fraud that even the heavens are not happy with, wonders how INEC recorded over a million votes in Borno State for APC, with votes recorded even in areas occupied by Boko Haram.

“There were bomb attacks in Borno and Yobe states few hours to voting and yet massive turnout was recorded while Lagos, Rivers and other states in the South had suppressed turnout,” said Secondus, who described the President Muhammadu Buhari –led administration’s claim to fight against corruption, as a fraudulent (419) fight, among other things.

How would you assess the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) performance in the just concluded general elections?

The performance of PDP in the election was excellent by our own assessment. We went round the country and engaged with Nigerians and they bought our issue-based messages. All over the country – North, South, West and East, the people were anxious to demonstrate their support for us. I can tell you without fear of contradiction that they did exactly that on February 23 with their PVC.

Don’t mind what happened with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). If somebody gifts you with money and armed robbers walk in to snatch it from you, that does not mean you did not get the money from the person. It’s left for you to approach the police and necessary agencies to recover your money.

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So, you are not convinced that your party lost the presidential election? If not, why?

My answer is outright No. PDP did not lose the election, APC lost and they know it.

You media are with the public, tell me, is the mood of the voters you engage showing you that they are happy with the outcome? If what INEC announced is a reflection of the peoples’ votes, why is the nation moody, including even the weather?

Have you not noticed since that great fraud that even the climate has changed in protest? Is that not enough indication to you that heaven is not happy with what is going on in Nigeria? Can you, as journalists, ask Governor el-Rufai to tell how he won, got over a million vote in Kaduna State? Find out whether two out of every three persons you meet in Kaduna wanted him to return as governor.

Have you journalists bothered to ask INEC how they recorded over a million votes in Borno State for APC with votes recorded even in areas occupied by Boko Haram? There were bomb attacks in Borno and Yobe states few hours to voting and yet massive turnout was recorded while Lagos, Rivers and other states in the South had suppressed turnout.

Our records from polling units where actual voting took place show that PDP won in Borno. The few states where we did not win in the North-west and North-east, the margin was small.

What do you think is going on with this trend of inconclusive and suspended elections?

It is a style of rigging that was handed over to Prof Mahmood Yakubu soon after his appointment in 2015. Recall that Nigeria never had inconclusive election till Yakubu came to INEC. The first major election he conducted in November and December 2015 in Kogi and Bayelsa states brought in inconclusive terminology in our polity.

The real rehearsal for what we are witnessing now was done and perfected last September during the Osun gubernatorial election, which your media and international observers captured very well. It was that right reaction of the international observers in Osun State election that prompted the body bag threat to frighten them out of what was coming in 2019.

Why is media not asking questions to find out why all the six states declared inconclusive are states where PDP was leading and why the rules that informed such declaration never applied where APC led? The presidential results should have been declared inconclusive, if the rule was not meant for only the PDP.

In Rivers State, it was soldiers versus the electorate and the Chief of Army Staff made himself the spokesperson, defending the actions of his troop. If their preferred party was leading in Rivers State, the election would have been declared.

I want you the media to note, specifically, that the military invasion in Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta and Akwa Ibom states on a polling day is despite a Supreme Court ruling that the military must not be involved in election matters.

But in the South-south, they came and took over, killed freely, including a photo journalist and even stopped some international observers from monitoring the election, as they did in Osun state last year.

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What do you have to say on the president’s persistent allegation that PDP misruled Nigeria for 16 years?

For four years, that was what he said, doing nothing and when the election came, he had nothing to show and the people rejected him and he and his party turned into brigandage to win by force.

He had ample opportunity in four years to rubbish PDP if he could, but he could not. He failed woefully in all the three key areas he promised – security, corruption and economy. Insecurity under APC and Buhari did not only increase but spread. Nigeria is today more divided than ever.

The economy has not improved a bit under him in the last four years and he took us into recession. The acclaimed corruption fight has become 419, as corruption has gotten deeper as confirmed by even the Transparency International report. Corruption fight that declare thieves in their midst saints and saints in the other places thieves! Bullion van can carry money into private homes if APC is involved but when PDP is involved you cannot even operate your private account.

Nigerians, who wore the APC shoe since 2015 and know where it pinches, have spoken and their will must come to pass.

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