The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, on Thursday, vowed to challenge the victory of All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, in last Saturday’s presidential election.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, Atiku described the election that produced Tinubu as president-elect as a “rape of democracy”.
“This battle to right the wrongs of Saturday is not about me. It is a continuation of my battles to deepen democracy and for a better life for our people. It is about the future of Nigerian youths.
“I know that Nigerians, especially the youth, are traumatized by the developments, but I want to urge them to conduct themselves peacefully. Like I have done over the years, I assure you that I will commit the rest of my life in ensuring that true democracy, which affirms the supremacy of your votes and your will, will take firm footing and guarantee a stable, prosperous and peaceful Nigeria. This is more so as Nigeria represents the hope of Africa and the Black World,” he said.
Atiku said that the 2023 presidential election presented Nigeria with a rare opportunity for the country’s reset but was allegedly truncated by the conduct of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
“The 2023 presidential election presented our nation and its people with the greatest opportunity for a reset. We had everything going for us: a legal framework in the 2022 Electoral Act and the BVAS technology. The enthusiasm of Nigerians to turn out and in large numbers was an added bonus.
“However, the dreams and aspirations of Nigerians who braced all the challenges to go and cast their votes on Saturday, 25th of February, 2023, were shattered by the conduct of the Independent National Electoral Commission, which failed to live up to expectations. The weekend election was neither free nor fair.
“Preliminary assessments indicate that it is the worst conducted elections since the return to democratic rule. The manipulation and fraud that attended this election was unprecedented in the history of our nation.
“I can still not understand why the electoral umpire was in such a hurry to conclude collation and announcement of the result, given the number of complaints of irregularities of bypassing of the BVAS, failure of uploading to the IREV, and unprecedented cancellations and disenfranchisement of millions of voters in breach of the Electoral Act and the commission’s own guidelines. It was indeed a rape of democracy.
“Having consulted with leaders of our party and Nigerians from different walks of life, I have come to the conclusion that the processes and outcome of the Presidential and National Assembly election of last Saturday was grossly flawed in every material particular, and as such must be challenged.”