By Osaro Ehiome
The national chairman of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has lashed out at the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over what he described as reckless and provocative statements intended to incite violence following it loss of the governorship seat in Imo State.
Oshiomhole also descended on PDP presidential candidate in the February 23, 2019 election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, accusing him of contributing to the undermining the country’s democracy.
He told a news conference yesterday in Abuja alongside members of the National Working Committee (NWC that the briefing was to respond to “a very reckless and potentially dangerous comment that has been attributed to the PDP national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.”
The APC chairman said that his PDP counterpart used inelegant language “that even people who are partially mad are not expected to use in a democracy.”
“We watched as PDP made very reckless statements that are designed not only to intimidate the judiciary but that are calculated to lay foundation for carefully planned unrest with a view to undermining the peace and stability of the Nigerian nation,” he alleged.
Oshiomhole recalled how the sacked PDP governor, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, had failed to meet the constitutional requirement of winning 25 percent of votes in at least two-thirds of the local government areas in the state, saying on that score alone, Mr Ihedioha had lost out.
According to him, a consideration of the voided votes of Senator Hope Uzodinma was what put him in a position to be affirmed as the governor of the state.
He said that the state returning officer ought not only to be dismissed but to be picked up by security agencies for interrogation while the judges who dispensed justice at the lower tribunals should be made to answer the numerous legitimate questions of Nigerians.
“The key issue in the case of APC and Uzodinma is that INEC and the collating officers bluntly refused to collate the votes in part of Hope Uzodinma’s senatorial zone of Orlu, altogether about 388 polling units votes were not collated. Meanwhile, in each of this polling unit, INEC appointed presiding officers who signed those results.
“The party agents in these 388 units signed those results. So, the validity of those results was never in dispute. INEC did not have any cause to invalidate them. All that happened was that the collating officers in those units refused to collate the results from 388 units in the governorship election that were in favour of Senator Hope Uzodinma,” he explained.
Oshiomhole further said that “it is the height of recklessness for the PDP to be asking for the resignation of the chief justice of Nigeria because it lost an election that the party never won”.
He said that the PDP leaders are always myopic whenever they lose an election and begin to attack the judiciary but hail the rule of law whenever they win a case, adding that the APC did not castigate the judiciary when she lost in Zamfara, Rivers and other areas.
On Atiku, Oshiomhole said that it is on record that a having manipulated INEC and the judiciary to remove Hashilu who was elected in Gombe State on the defunct ANPP platform because at the end of the result, “his boss, former president Olusegun Obasanjo said that Atiku has lost his base because he lost his senatorial seat, and he lost his the governorship race in his own state and he lost so much in Northeast
“Atiku, in his response as you will remember manipulated all institutions such that Prof. Jibril Aminu, who is already on record and I speak with authority on this because we have the newspapers, he had already congratulated the man who defeated him as senator. And there are stories that between N100-N110 million was expended for those who won, who had been given certificates by INEC to voluntarily withdrawn the certificates, not through the court of law, by saying we have been well paid, we accept that we are losers. That is how Aminu returned to the Senate.
“But bad examples cannot be the basis for making progress, we are not about to copy him, but it is important that we remind Nigerians that talking about electoral fraud, talking about manipulating institutions of democracy that Atiku cannot be the advocate. He contributed his own beat to undermining democracy.
“We need to remind our people of their role in history so that when they talk, they shouldn’t talk as if Nigerians don’t have memory.
“Atiku is in print and electronic media where it is said publicly that he regretted that the instruction is then boss, Obasanjo gave him to ensure that Lagos State was reclaimed by the PDP by all means, he regretted that he didn’t carry out that ruthless rigging that would have made Lagos PDP.
“We will continue to remind Nigerians that elaborate interview, thanks to Channels Television that Senator Maku, then deputy Senate president narrated himself, Obasanjo, Atiku, how they used to rig election.
“He taught Nigerians how they used to rig elections and how he was used and others to keep the PDP in power.
“For God sake, in moment like this, and in other to teach all of us lessons, we should play back this tape so that Nigerians will know who to listen to when they talk,” Oshiomhole said.