The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu has counseled oppostion parties including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party to allow the electoral umpire do its job.
The parties in separate statements have either claimed victory or asked for cancellation of the process. One threatened to go to court.
But responding in a statement on Sunday, the Director of Media and Publicity of the APC presidential campaign council (PCC) Bayo Onanuga said, the ruling party has “noticed the disingenuous attempts by the opposition parties, spokesmen of their campaign councils and their hired talking heads on Television and Radio Stations to discredit the presidential and National Assembly elections conducted nationwide yesterday.”
The statement in full:
We have noticed the disingenuous attempts by the opposition parties, spokesmen of their campaign councils and their hired talking heads on Television and Radio Stations to discredit the presidential and National Assembly elections conducted nationwide yesterday.
Noteworthy are spokespersons of Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council and that of the Peoples Democratic Party/Atiku Presidential Campaign Council.
Two persons we consider as respectable citizens, Professor Pat Utomi and Director-General of Peter Obi Campaign Council, Mr. Akin Osuntokun threw caution to the wind by their inciting and incendiary comments on social media and TV stations where they have been making baseless and irresponsible allegations of electoral manipulations and other malpractices against our party and the electoral umpire, all in a bid to cause disaffection and civil unrest in the country.
We must also stress that we have noticed many partisan talking heads claiming to be Election Observers on radio and TV stations who are presenting skewed and patently false narratives about the general conduct of the election across the country.
Both Labour Party and PDP have accused INEC of conspiracy to rig election result in favour of our party, anchoring their allegation on the agency’s inability to upload election results on its website.
While we call on INEC to expedite action on the process of uploading the results, we want to state categorically that there is nothing unusual about the seeming delay.
INEC returning officers bringing the results to the National Collation Centre from the 36 states, may be contending with possible travel logistics as witnessed on Day One of the collation on Sunday, when only Ekiti state was ready with its result. There could also be technical issues with INEC Results Viewing Portal which we are sure the commission will quickly resolve.
It is worth stating that election results have been announced and made public at polling units and duly signed by accredited party agents in line with the Electoral Law. There is no political party that does not have election results from all the over 176,000 polling units across the country except for few locations election didn’t hold. The Abuja Collation is merely ceremonial.
While the law stipulates that the INEC Chairman who is the National Returning Officer for the Presidential election should declare the result, it is also a fact that no party can claim ignorance about its performance from every polling unit through their Situation Rooms updates from party agents.
This brazen attempt to discredit this election that is adjudged to be the most peaceful, credible, open, transparent, free and fair in the history of our country will fail.
We suspect that the opposition parties making unnecessary fuss over the results of the poll are only afraid of facing the reality of their defeat. Elections are not a do or die affair. They are meant to be won by some and lost by some.
The 2023 Presidential election has been successfully conducted and results announced at polling units, wards, local councils and at the state level.
We advise politicians to allow the remaining part of the process to go on without intimidation and harassment of INEC.
We call on the security agencies to be alert and ruthlessly deal with anyone seeking to destabilise our country with reckless, subversive and obnoxious statements on the social media, TV and radio platforms.
Director, Media & Publicity
APC Presidential Campaign Council
February 26, 2023