The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the July 14, 2018 governorship election in Ekiti State, Prof. Olusola Eleka has rejected poll results in which the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi was declared winner.
Speaking in Ado Ekiti, Eleka said he would challenge the results in court insisting that he won about 70 per cent of the valid votes cast at the various polling units in almost all the 16 local government areas of the state.
“You are all aware of the unfortunate and dangerous events of the past 24 hours, in which our governorship election was hijacked by political desperadoes leveraging on ‘federal might’ to pervert the electoral process, subvert the will of Ekiti people, and viciously steal the mandate willingly and freely given to me on a massive scale by our people.
“I therefore reject the falsified results being bandied by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which purportedly gave the election to the APC and its candidate, Fayemi.
“This is the most audacious electoral robbery of our recent history. It shall not stand. By the grace of Almighty God and your support, I will pursue and regain my mandate.
“To rig this election, the APC leveraged on its well-advertised but patently obnoxious and anti-democratic ‘federal might’ to intimidate, harass, victimise, oppress, and brutalise PDP leaders, members, and the voting public all over Ekiti. This brutal and barbaric process, which started well before the election, did not spare Governor Ayodele Fayose and me; as the whole world had seen and had condemned it. It is quite unfortunate that the harassment has continued even after the election,” said Eleka.
Eleka, who is also the current deputy governor of the state, alleged that the security agencies provided cover for the APC agents as they bought votes.
Besides, he accused the security agents of aiding the indiscriminate arrest of PDP leaders and agents while also harassing voters on a massive scale, especially in Ado Ekiti, Ikere and in the suburbs.
“INEC on its own part reneged on its promise to have results counted, declared, and pasted on the wall of each polling station. There was nowhere INEC transmitted results from the polling centres as earlier promised. Ballot boxes were illegally moved to INEC offices while our agents were disallowed from following the process,” he added.
Also, the national leadership of the PDP rejected the results describing the election as a “brazen assault against democracy and a direct subversion of the will of the people.”
In a statement by the party’s national publicity secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said: “The process, characterized by open alteration of results, brutalization of innocent citizens, barefaced cruelty and intimidation of our members by security agencies, is a brazen assault against democracy and a direct subversion of the will of the people which is completely unacceptable.
“The PDP is armed with the details of all manipulations by the APC, who is being aided by security agencies and compromised INEC officials to rig the election, particularly, the audacious alteration and substitution of election results in favour of the APC at the collation centers amidst the brutalization of our agents.
“The PDP also has details of all the polling units where we won, mostly with very wide margin ahead of the APC, only for the security agencies to aid the swapping and alteration of such results with those smuggled in by the APC at the collation centers.
“It is instructive to state that all the issues we raised ahead of the election, including the conspiracy between the APC, some compromised INEC officials and security agencies; the importation of thugs from other states by the APC; the use of brutal force against our members and the alteration of results in favour of the APC, have all manifested.
“The PDP holds strongly that there is no way our democracy can survive with an electoral process such as this, being witnessed today in Ekiti state under President Muhammadu Buhari and the current INEC.
“This bald-faced subversion of the will of the people is a clear recipe for a serious crisis and we invite Nigerians and the international community to hold President Buhari and his APC as well as the INEC Chairman and heads of security agencies in Nigeria responsible for any breakdown of law and order in Ekiti state as a result of this election.
“This on-going robbery of the franchise of Ekiti people is a horrible rape of our democracy and most uncharitable of President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC who hugely benefitted from the credible election midwifed by the PDP in 2015.”
For his part, the incumbent governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose accused the federal government of using the police, army, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and INEC to snatch the mandate given to Eleka.
In a press statement signed his spokesman, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, the governor accused President Muhammadu Buhari of exhibiting dictatorship and fascist tendencies.
“I am Peter Ayodele Fayose, I hold with my head high. I can never be suppressed. I don’t lose battles and I will not lose this. I will laugh last.
“The President should note what the Bible says which applies to him. ‘He that wears the armour should not boast as he that removes it.’
“It is only Buhari that will pride himself with the security shooting sporadically at polling centres, scaring people to pave the way for the APC thugs to snatch ballot boxes.”
Fayose said what Buhari had won as referendum from Ekiti people, Nigerians, and international community “is shame.”
“If APC has truly won, why is it that there is no jubilation in Ekiti? The victory of Kayode Fayemi is pyrrhic. We will reclaim the stolen mandate in the court by the power of God.”
In his reaction, the governor of Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike said what transpired during the Ekiti governorship election was the worst political robbery in the nation’s democratic history.
Addressing journalists in Port Harcourt on Sunday, the governor assured that what happened in Ekiti State would not be replicated in Rivers State “because Rivers people are fully prepared.”
A statement by his spokesman, Mr. Simeon Nwakaudu, quoted the governor as saying: “Don’t be worried about what happened in Ekiti State. We are prepared. It will not happen here in Rivers State.
“I have never experienced that kind of robbery in politics. I told my colleagues do not give them any chance. Most of them in APC are happy that they will repeat the same thing in Rivers State; we are waiting, come and repeat. Let your spirit not be down, work hard and victory will be ours.”