REPRESENTATIVES of the President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, yesterday, told the international media that the All Progressives Congress, APC, a candidate won the February 25 polls contrary to the claims of opposition parties such as the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; and Labour Party, LP.
Led by Mr Festus Keyamo, the chief spokesperson of the Tinubu Campaign and Minister of State Labour; the team, which had Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Sunday Dare; and Assistant Principal Spokesperson, Mr Ajuri Ngelale, had at a parley with the International Media at the Press, Centre Washington Dc, United States, yesterday.
In a statement titled: “Separating the Facts from Fictions,” Keyamo and members of his team said that the 2023 polls were free and fair and the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration ensured a level playing via no interference.
According to them, the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System, BVAS, did not fail on Election Day as alleged by the opposition but recorded 88 per cent success, adding that opposition parties accepted the results of senatorial and House of Representatives elections held on the same day, which they won but chose to kick against that of the presidential they lost.
Insisting that Tinubu won the polls and met the constitutional requirement to be declared president-elect, they said incidents of violence and irregularities recorded in a few polling units were not enough to affect the overall outcome of the election.
They said having gone to court to challenge the result, the opposition parties should desist from spreading false tales.
According to the results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the APC had 8,794,726 (36.61%); PDP – 6,984,520 (29.07%); LP – 6,101,533 (25.40%); and NNPP – 1,496,687(6.23%).
The statement read in part: “The country’s out-going President, Muhammadu Buhari, signed into law a Bill that seeks to improve our electoral process by introducing technology as a means of accrediting voters at the polling units. This is known as the Electoral L Act, of 2022. The opposition and international observers hailed him on this.
“There was also complete non-interference in the political process by State institutions. There were no reports of the deployment of security agents or State apparatus in support of the candidate of the ruling party. In fact, in some instances, the opposition celebrated the fact that our candidate had no support of the Government. These led to well-published reports (albeit false) that the President was not in support of the candidate of his own party.
State of leading parties before elections
“The ruling party, the All Progressives Congress controlled 21 out of the 36 states of the country and the FCT before the elections with elected Governors; whilst the main opposition, the People’s Demoratic Party had 14 governors and the All Progressives Grand Alliance had one governor. The Labour Party had no single governor or elected official at any level of Government.
“About eight months to the elections, the main opposition, the PDP, suffered some major set-backs. Its Vice-Presidential Candidate in 2019, Mr. Peter Obi moved to the Labour Party with his supporters, mainly from his region of origin, the South-East. Another of the Party’s main pillar of support in the North-West, Alhaji Musa Kwakwanso moved to the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP), taking with him a chunk of the party’s supporters in that region. Five (5) out of the 14 Governors of the PDP, publicly announced they would not be campaigning for or supporting its Presidential Candidate (Alhaji Atiku Abubakar). Meanwhile, the ruling party remained one huge, indivisible entity with no departure of any of its elected officials or public dissent from them. It was in this state of affairs that all the parties went into the elections.
February 25 poll
“Contrary to the false outcry by the opposition, the main technological device, Bi-modal Voters Accreditation System, BVAS, did not fail on the election day. All the local and international observers scored the use of BVAS very high, with one local body called YIAGA, working in coalition with the EU and other International Observers, saying it recorded 88% success in all the polling units it monitored. The Nigeria Bar Association also issued its report saying only 8 percent of voters were not satisfied with the process on that day. The portal that the opposition made so much noise about, IREV, is just a viewing portal, which has nothing to do with accreditation or verification of voters or even the counting or recording of votes.
Credibility of results
“Our Constitution requires a Presidential candidate to secure the highest number of votes and score at at least one-quarter of the votes in two-thirds of the States of the Federation which includes the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
“Only Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu met these requirements especially that of the spread (he scored 25 percent and above in 29 States), even though all 3 top candidates won 12 States each. The candidate of the PDP scored 25% and above in just 21 States, falling short of the 24 states required and the candidate of the Labour Party scored 25% and above in 15 States plus the Federal Capital Territory, making it 16 States. There was just no pathway to victory for these candidates who did not have the requisite national acceptability. So, how tenable is the claim of rigging the elections? We see none
“It is significant to note that the elections were so credible that it threw up some upsets in our otherwise settled demography. For the first time, 20 sitting Governors lost their states, mostly those of the ruling party. Seven Governors who sought elections into the Senate failed to scale through. This has never happened in the history of Nigeria. In addition, the President-Elect lost his home State (Lagos State); the sitting President lost his home State (Katsina State); the Director-General of the Campaign lost his home State (Plateau State); the ruling Party Chairman lost his home State (Nassarawa State); the Chairman of the ruling Party’s Governor Forum lost his home State (Kebbi State) and the ruling party lost some of its traditional strong holds like Yobe State, Kaduna State and Kano State.
All these go to show that it was a keenly contested election.