The Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubarka has described the outcome of the just concluded 2023 Presidential Election as a “Rape of democracy”.
Atiku made this assertion during an International Press Conference on Thursday, February 2, 2023 in Abuja.
He questioned why the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was in a hurry to collate the results of the presidential election even in the face of glaring reports of violation across the country.
The former Nigerian Vice President wonders why INEC would violate its own guidelines in the conduct of the election.
“The dreams and aspirations of Nigerians who braced all the challenges to go and cast their votes on Saturday, 25th of February, 2023, were shattered by the conduct of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which failed to live up to expectations. The weekend election was neither free nor fair
“Preliminary assessments indicate that it is the worst conducted elections since the return to democratic rule. The manipulation and fraud that attended this election was unprecedented in the history of our nation.
“I can still not understand why the electoral umpire was in such a hurry to conclude collation and announcement of the result, given the number of complaints of irregularities of bypassing of the BVAS, failure of uploading to the IREV, and unprecedented cancellations and disenfranchisement of millions of voters in breach of the Electoral Act and the commission’s own guidelines. It was indeed a rape of democracy”, he said.
Atiku who vowed to challenge the grossly flawed election in court, disclosed that it was for the future of Nigerian youths and deepening of democracy.
“Having consulted with leaders of our party and Nigerians from different walks of life, I have come to the conclusion that the processes and outcome of the Presidential and National Assembly election of last Saturday was grossly flawed in every material particular, and as such must be challenged.
“This has been attested to by both local and international observers. I want to believe that this was not the legacy that President Muhammadu Buhari had promised. For President Buhari, it is not too late to make amends for the good of our country and the future generations and indeed to assure his legacy.
“This battle to right the wrongs of Saturday is not about me. It is a continuation of my battles to deepen democracy and for a better life for our people. It is about the future of Nigerian youths.
“I know that Nigerians, especially the youth, are traumatized by the developments, but I want to urge them to conduct themselves peacefully. Like I have done over the years, I assure you that I will commit the rest of my life in ensuring that true democracy, which affirms the supremacy of your votes and your will, will take firm footing and guarantee a stable, prosperous and peaceful Nigeria. This is more so as Nigeria represents the hope of Africa and the Black World.
“It is my hope that the judiciary will redeem itself this time around and rise to the society’s expectation as the last HOPE. In the end, who wins is not as important as the credibility of our elections and electoral processes”, he said.