Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday led officials of the party on a protest to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja over the Feb. 25 election.
Some of the officials included PDP National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu and National Working Committee members.
Ayu presented a party protest letter to INEC, calling for the cancellation of the election in which the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Sen. Bola Tinubu was declared winner.
He urged INEC to conduct a credible election that would be acceptable to all.
“On behalf of the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the teeming members of the PDP, we present this protest letter to INEC, addresed to the Commission Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
“We do not accept the charades of what has been presented to Nigeria people as election and what has been declared.
“We, there call on INEC not only to cancel the election but to re-conduct a very credible election, not only to Nigerians but also the international community,” Ayu said.
Receiving the letter, the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, commended the party for a peaceful protest, promising to submit the letter to the appropriate authorities for necessary action.
“I have received this letter on behalf of the commission, if there are remedial issue to be dealt with, we are going to deal with those remedial issues.
This commission is for the Nigeria people. Our allegiance is for the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“This commission does not have allegiance to any political party or candidate, our allegiance is to the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Okoye said.
The protesters who were dressed in black, carried placards with different inscriptions such as “INEC is corrupt”, “It is time for change”, “INEC releases the real results”, “enough is enough”, “Mahmood Yakubu resign now”.
Speaking, Kola Ologbondiyan, spokesperson for Atiku/Okowa Campaign Organisation told NAN that the demand of the party was that Mahmood should fulfil the promised he made to Nigerians at the collation centre that he was going to review the election results.
“You were there during the collation, when Yakubu promised Nigerians that he would review the collation. Has he review it?
“We are asking him to review the collation just s he has promised. He should review it,” Ologbondiyan.
Asked why the protest after the party had accepted to challenge the election outcome in court, Ologbondiyan said that the party had right to expose to the world the illegality in INEC under Yakubu.
“We have a right to this pretest and we are expressing it to the world to know that what Yakubu has done is a total disregard to constitution and all the electoral status in Nigeria.
“That is what we are expressing and we have right to it. As a corporate citizens to protest and we are protesting it,” he said.
INEC had declared Tinubu as the winner of the presidential poll after scoring 8,794,726 votes, the highest of all the candidates, thus meeting the first constitutional requirement to be declared the winner.
He also scored over 25 per cent of the votes cast in 30 states, more than the 24 states constitutionally required.
Atiku Abubakar came second with 6,984,520 votes.