By Taiwo Adebowale
The National Chairman of the People Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus has described the brigandage of the February 23 presidential and parliamentary elections in Nigeria as APC’s ‘body bag’ election.
Before the word featured prominently in the Kaduna State Governor Nasir el Rufai’s, election hate speech, the word, ‘body bag’ was associate with the gruesome murder and dismemberment of the famous Saudi born journalist and Washington Post columnist, Jamal Kashoggi. Kashoggi had his dismembered body smuggled out of the Saudi Embassy in Turkey.
The party chairman stated this at a press conference in Abuja on Friday, March 2.
The full text of the statement reads:
APC’s ‘Body Bag’ Election
Gentlemen of the Press,
Recall in my last press conference I told you that we will be briefing you from time to time on developments from last Saturday’s blatant rape on our democracy.
Our Presidential flag bearer in the election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar spoke with you on Wednesday and the National Publicity Secretary of our party has been interacting with you on daily basis.
I have therefore come to you again today in continuation of our unearthing the brigandage of last Saturday which I have tagged ‘body bag election’.
When All Progressives Congress, APC, leaders were threatening foreign election monitors with returning to their country on body bags we didn’t know that they had designed the same thing for Nigerians.
As at the last count over 50 Nigerians have lost their lives last Saturday most of them from the South South region where a division of the army with their commander were turned on the people on the Election Day.
For a regime that appears comfortable with blood, the deaths they recorded during their campaigns were not enough as after their contrived ballot box victory and stolen mandate, they still hired some hoodlums and sent them to the streets to go and kill themselves and further inconvenience the grieving Nigerians while celebrating their electoral robbery ( May I crave your indulgence gentlemen of the press for a minute silence for the repose of the souls of all Nigerians who were murdered on the Election Day including the poor youths who were lured with funds to go and die celebrating when the rest of the citizens were grieving…….May their souls and that of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen. They remain martyrs of democracy.
You can see that the nation has been in a sorrow mood for our democracy that was dragged down last Saturday, four years after the World stood up for Nigeria for not only conducting a flawless election but for going ahead in addition to have a seamless transition to an opposition party, but we all are seeing the direct beneficiary of that rare democratic disposition, General Muhammadu Buhari using the military to rob Nigerians of their right to choose leaders of their choice.
Effect of Militarization.
The clear effect of militarizing the election particularly in the South South and South East in addition to the killing of innocent electorates was the obvious suppression of voters who were either scared out or chased away. (Please see table)
Even by INEC own record voter turnout in last Saturday’s election fell to about 36% from 44% it was in 2015.
Gentlemen of the press, you were in the field and witnessed the large turnout of Nigerian electorate in comparison to that of 2015. The military were dragged into the election to suppress and scare away voters and facilitate rigging. That is how you hear ridiculously that war torn Borno and Yobe states recorded higher percentage in voter torn out than some states in the South South geo- political zone.
Shamelessly, they have again started mobilizing to use the same military to forcefully take over for APC two PDP states in the South South and one state in the South East.
Credible intelligence available to the party showed that the ruling party’s main link in INEC met with party’s leadership as well as the military to review the planned strategy to take over these states.
Kano, Borno, Yobe and Zamfra fraud.
While the military was suppressing voters in PDP strong hold areas in the South, a different abracadabra was going on in some northern states particularly in Kano, Yobe, Borno and Zamfara states where numbers refuse to add up. In Borno, Yobe and Zamfara states confirmed report shows that there was non compliance in the use of Smart card reader as approved by INEC rules.
The backend Report from the card readers for the various local Government areas in these states will this further.
In these states as in others, the data is inconsistent with the accreditation of registered voters in the local Government Areas and voting patterns witnessed in 2015.
The same applies to cancelled votes, in Nasarawa states over 115,000votes cancelled, Kogi 79,000 votes, Plateau 30,000 votes indicating that these high incidence of vote cancellation were designed to suppress the margin of victory in PDP strong holds.
Strangulating the Opposition.
As part of their strategy to ensure that PDP is distracted from pursuing its stolen mandate, General Buhari’s regime has decided to intensify their intimidation and strangulation of the opposition. Some prominent members of the opposition have been put on surveillance and their names listed to be stopped from traveling out of the country.
Gentlemen of the press, you can all see that we have arrived at the place we never bargained for, full blown dictatorship and this is where I urge you members of the press to stand up as you have always done against this emerging despotism in our land before we become a laughing stock in the global democracy family again.
As I end this press briefing, I present to you some graphs to buttress the broad day robbery of our votes, may I also through you gentlemen of the press urge our members and supporters across the country not to despair but to remain steadfast and focused because like our Presidential candidate assured, we shall triumph at the end because democracy has come to stay in this country and is staying by the grace of God.
I also wish to reiterate to our security agencies particularly the Army that they are not at war with any section of her citizens and they must try to be professional in their duties by staying away from election matters as directed by the Supreme Court of the land.
Once again may I assure you that through you we will continue to brief the country and indeed international community of the anti-democratibc behaviors of the APC administration?
Thanks for your audience.
Prince Uche Secondus
National Chairman of PDP