Elections: Political parties fight over EU report in Nigeria

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nigeria have renewed their fight over the 2019 elections, with each taking hard position on the recent report of the European Union Election Observer Mission (EU EOM).The EU EOM, in its report on the 2019 elections, raised some issue.

In its reaction yesterday, the PDP said the report of the EU EOM validated its position that the February 23 presidential poll was rigged in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC.

The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said with the EU report, it was obvious that it has not been crying wolf about the alleged manipulation of the polls.

The opposition party called for the prosecution of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials involved in the alleged sabotage of the electoral process.

Ologbondiyan said: “The world can now see that the PDP has not been crying wolf in insisting that the election was outrightly rigged with the cancellation of millions of PDP votes, alteration of results and allocation of fictitious votes to the APC.

“Nigerians are still in shock over the revelations by EU of how about 2.8 million votes were deliberately  cancelled without sufficient accountability and how several returning officers gave no reason for the cancellations.”

According to the PDP added, “more shocking is the iniquity committed at the national collation centre, headed by the INEC Chairman, where the EU report exposed inconsistent numbers, distortions and ‘a large discrepancy of’ 1.66 million more registered voters, as announced by INEC on 14 January, compared to those announced by state returning officers during the collation of presidential results.

“Nigerians witnessed, on national TV, how professors and returning officers were unable to reconcile result figures due to heavy manipulations upon which INEC declared the APC winner.

“The EU report has further exposed the iniquity committed by the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC by listing how ballot boxes were compromised, how essential materials were missing, how “voter register was not always ticked as required” and how “manual authentication procedures were not correctly followed.

“The report also bared how figures on result forms did not reconcile, how result forms were not publicly posted, how ‘result forms and smart card readers were not packed in tamper-evident envelops as required,’ in addition to how the APC administration used security forces to intimidate voters, aid violence against our members and muzzled votes for the APC.”