All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole said yesterday that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar was destined never to be President.
He told the PDP candidate in last Saturday’s election that the governing party was prepared to meet him in court.
Addressing a news conference in Abuja on the outcome of the Presidential and National Assembly elections and the decision of the PDP candidate to reject the outcome of the election, Oshiomhole said Atiku was desperate to be President and has been jumping from one party to the other to actualise his ambition.
He said it smacked of arrogance for the former Vice President to believe that the destiny of Nigerians is tied to his being President, stressing that Atiku and his party were never committed to the peace accord as they believe that the election was free and fair only if they won.
Oshiomhole said: “I think it is arrogance for Atiku to think that our future is tied to his presidency. Atiku is destined never to be President of Nigeria and I ask you to review his character. Leadership is about character.
“Atiku’s desperation is so obvious. He is so desperate that in 2003, he challenged his own boss, Obasanjo. He decamped to join ACN and we offered him the ticket and he lost the election and returned to PDP. He contested again and lost the nomination and because he has only his interest at heart, he decamped again from PDP. He joined us in Lagos and rolled out the dollars, but we voted for Buhari as our candidate. He knew that he cannot defeat Buhari in the primary and went back to the PDP.
“Do you think that such a political rolling stone, does he think that Nigerians are so insincere as to think that a man who is not stable and whose interest is about himself will be a possible candidate to be elected?
“What makes him have that sense of entitlement that he must be President of Nigeria? You cannot deny anyone the right to dispute the outcome of an election, however, free, fair. So, we hope and we are looking forward to meeting Atiku Abubakar in court. We might also choose to also cross petition because there were many areas we can dispute. In Adamawa State, he had already lost the election before he did some magic that gave him that narrow victory in Adamawa State.”
Oshiomhole said the turnout of voters in the Northeast, especially in Borno State, was a reflection of the substantial peace that has returned to the area, adding that if the former Vice President does not know about that, it could be because he does not go home regularly.
Accusing Atiku of not being committed to the peace accord, Oshiomhole said: “When the National Peace Committee invited political parties to commit themselves to peace and to pledge to accepting the outcome of the results, you will recall that the PDP and their candidate were absent at the first meeting.
“Following public outcry and pressure from their friends, he reluctantly went to sign the peace accord. So, from day one, Atiku made up his mind that unless he wins, the election is not free and fair and that it will only be free and fair if he is returned as the winner. Then, we ask the question, what is the value of the peace accord?
Oshiomhole congratulated Nigerians for defending democracy and for celebrating democracy. He said: “We are proud as a people that all those who thought that last Saturday was going to be a war have realised that election is not another word for war. It is a day to celebrate democracy and the only day in democracy in which everybody is equal.
“I am happy that Nigerians have spoken and they did every thing to maintain the peace, inspite of the fact that some elements conducted themselves in such a way that led to the loss of lives of some of our countrymen.
“I believe that government must do everything possible to identify those behind those killings and bring them to justice. Each time hoodlums and ballot box snatchers maim and kill and try to destablise the will of the Nigerian people and they go away without being prosecuted, the culture of impunity is strengthened and the fear for the rule of law is weakened.
“I believe that now that the President has been declared winner, he has a duty to call on the Inspector-General of Police and indeed all the security agencies to identify all those behind these killings. No Nigerian deserves to die because he wanted to go and vote.
“Yesterday, the PDP candidate who lost and who was a signatory to the peace accord and who went into this race knowing fully well that Nigerians can not possibly elect two Presidents because only one President will emerge, having suffered defeat which I believe he deserved, rejected the results, adducing very laughable arguments as basis for his decisions.
“I have found out that in this country, when you recycle lies, people begin to think there is truth in it. The conventional wisdom is that there is no smoke without fire. But in Nigerian politics, there can be huge smoke and yet, there is no fire. It is not about whether this election was perfect, but whether it was substantially free and fair and whether it represents the will of the Nigerian people. I am convinced that this election reflects the will of the Nigerian people.
“Atiku spoke about what he called statistical impossibility and also about the two zones where he is strongest and that votes in those areas were smaller and the margin of victory also small. In 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari got fewer votes than he got in 2015 and from INEC figures, we secured 15.2 million votes. So, when Alhaji Atiku Abubakar talks about statistical impossibilities, I don’t want to call him a poor student of history, but invite you to look at the figures of registered new voters.
“If Atiku had taken time to review the performance of his political party over the years and compare them to that of President Buhari over the same period, he wold have understood and be clearer. To suggest that votes were suppressed in the Southsouth and the Southeast is not to be able to appreciate what the resort to card readers have done to election riggers.
“When we conducted an isolated election in Anambra State, no governor secured 400,000 votes and any one who is familiar with the realities of Rivers State know that if you conduct a free and fair election and you deny periwinkles the opportunity to come out and vote, it is impossible for them to get up to 500,000 votes. Yet, you had situations where you had 99 percent of voters turning out to vote in Rivers State before the advent of the card reader.
“Rather than Atiku thinking that rigging has come to stay and could not understand why the numbers can’t add up in the absence of massive rigging, he should be reminded that the essence of the collective effort that has been made and the intervention of genuine friends of Nigeria has been to try to improve the electoral process, such that rigging can be eliminated or reduced to tolerable level.”
Oshiomhole said the APC had petitioned INEC on how it allegedly rigged out in Akwa Ibom State. “It is interesting that it is the PDP that is complaining about rigging in Akwa Ibom State. How do you explain that INEC cancelled so many units in several states in order to be able to declare PDP candidates winners. That was how Senator Akpabio was rigged out in Akwa Ibom State,” the party chief said.
“Atiku also alleged that the economy lost N85 billion on hearing that President Buhari won the election. That is twisting the facts. When Atiku start talking about his irrevocable commitment to privatise and sell NNPC, many people wondered aloud whether he has not already collected deposit, especially when he says even if he was going to die.
“Was he going to rule Nigeria against our will because democracy does not end at voting. Citizens must hold their leaders accountable for their policy choices. So, if those depositors see that it will not be business as usual and decided to take their flight, we don’t even want them to come back. Nigeria needs genuine investors who have faith in our country with long term interest,” Oshiomhole said.