The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, yesterday, led a mass protest in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The protesters were made up of the youths, women, some PDP chieftains, members and sympathisers of the party.
Secondus was protesting the alleged unfairness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), saying the commission was programmed to declaring concocted election results in favour of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Some of the placards read, “Let our election results count”, “Oyo result is a big scam”, “International community save our democracy”, “We need free and fair election result”, “Stop manipulation”, “International observers save our democracy”.
The large crowd of protesters started from Shehu Shagari way in Maitama Abuja enroute to the INEC, headquarters.
During the protest, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) released the letter of protest its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In the letter made available to newsmen, and signed by the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, and National Secretary, Sen. Ibrahim Umaru Tsauri, the PDP insisted that the presidential election was manipulated in favour of the ruling party.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner, having polled 15,191,847 votes as against PDP’s Atiku Abubakar’s 11,262,978 votes with a victory margin of 3,928,869 votes.
But yesterday, the PDP and Atiku filed a case against Buhari’s victory at the Presidential Election Tribunal in Abuja.
The PDP letter to INEC referenced: “PDP/DOM/INEC/19-004”, and addressed to the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Zambezi Crescent, Maitama District, Abuja, FCT, reads: “Dear Sir, Cases Of Infractions And Deliberate Violations Of The Electoral Law And Guidelines.
“We want to place on records and bring to your attention the very obvious and noticeable infractions and violations of the Electoral Law and the Regulations/Guidelines regulating the 2019 general elections which have very negative implications on the credibility, transparency and integrity of the entire electoral processes particularly the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections.
“This has become imperative as we approach the Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly elections billed for Saturday, March 9,2019.
“These infractions and deliberate violations include but not limited to the following:
“The non-usage or selective enforcement of the Smart Card Reader (SCR) machines across the country. We observed with regrets that the usage of the SCR machines were enforced strategically in the South-South, South-East and the North-Central zones of the country which are essentially PDP strongholds.
“This is radically different from what transpired in the North-West, North-East and the South-West which were estimated as the APC strongholds. This is quite contrary to the provisions of Paragraph 10(a) & (b) of the Regulations and Guidelines governing the 2019 General Elections and all the assurances you, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, frequently gave up to the last hours before the elections.
“The deliberate non-deployment of the Electronic Collation System (E-Collation) for the elections results from the units, through the ward centres to the Presidential Collation Centre in Abuja as provided for in the 2019 Electoral Regulations and Guidelines made by you, and as contained in your several official Press Statements is very suspect. This is more so when you have never bothered to explain to Nigerians the justification for this sudden official somersault on such a critical component of the electoral process especially with all the tax payer’s money spent to install the facilities.
Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity
Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.
The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).
Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.
It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.
Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.
Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.
Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments
President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.
The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.
According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.
He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.
Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.
The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.
He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.
On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.
He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.
“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.
“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.
“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.
”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.
“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.
“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.
On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.
On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.
According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.
The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”
Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari
Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.
The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.
Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.
He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.
He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.
“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.
“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.
“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”
He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.
This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.
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