In sharp contrast with the sportsmanship of former president Goodluck Jonathan, Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party has refused to concede defeat in the election, emphatically won by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Jonathan called Buhari in 2015 to concede, ahead of the declaration by the Mahmud Jega-led INEC. But Atiku is missing and has refused to do the expected.
His party wants a rerun election and has been raising ruckus over the outcome, complaining about rigged votes, missing votes, disenfranchised supporters and others.
It even refused to sign the result sheet.
The party said it would explore every option, including the legal process to ventilate its grievances on the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as the winner of the election.
The party said Buhari’s re-election is an abnormality.
Party agent Osita Chidoka, told journalists in Abuja at the National Collation Centre on Wednesday morning that the results that were announced do not represent the valid votes of Nigerians.
“The PDP does not accept the result as representing the valid votes of Nigerians. We have made three issues: first, after all the investment in technology, we expected that INEC, after spending N27 billion in this year’s budget alone for technology, would have for the purpose of transparency, not just for law, projected to us the result of what the card reader that they used displayed about the people that went through the card reader verification. That singular act has put a dent on the image of the election.
“The second one is the issue we raised about the number of registered vis-à-vis what the chairman now calls collated voters, which means that 1.6 million people are missing in the voter register. We think that issue is substantial enough to require a resolution.
“We also believed that the difference between the accredited voters and the votes cast which came to about 750,000 is an issue to be looked at.
“Finally, we believed that the cancellations that took place in the election impacting 2.7 million voters required to be looked into seriously.
“So, in our view, this election required to be reviewed, looked at again and possibly, we have a rerun. More importantly, we think that INEC should have looked consciously to the use of the card reader, the absence of card reader is a major violation in the elections, it renders that election null and void, that’s what the chairman promised us.
“So, for us in the PDP, we believe that this is a new low in Nigeria’s electoral history. Since 2015, we believe that Nigeria would have been making progress in the election, but for the violence. The issues that have arisen in this election, and lack of transparency that we saw in the election did not increase, neither did it improve the belief of Nigerians in the electoral process.
“However, the PDP remains a very lawful party, we believe in the law, we believe in the constitution of Nigeria, we are committed democrats. The PDP is a party that entrenched democracy in Nigeria, the PDP is the party that made it possible for Nigeria to enjoy the fruit and dividends of democracy.
“We will continue to support democracy in Nigeria, we will continue to promote democracy in Nigeria. But we have a good message for Nigerians, we want them to remain peaceful, we will explore all our options, including the belief that the legal process in Nigeria is one of the ways to resolve issues.”
On the floor of the National Collation Centre at the International Conference Centre in Abuja, INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu said that the difference in the valid votes and cancelled votes were insignificant to impact on the general outcome of the election.
According to him, all the observations raised by the PDP would be needed for the future, including the 2023 elections.