It was a farce foretold. And the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) did not disappoint pundits: it mobilised 30, 000 “security” agents and loads of cash to Ekiti for the governorship contest held on July 14. While the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) bribed each voter with N4, 000, the APC bribed them with N5, 000.
The actual rigging took place at collation centres. The “security” agents ordered all journalists and election observers out. Figures were cooked, and party agents were bribed further. Authentic results from polling booths were swapped with doctored results.
The state radio station was broadcasting the results polling booth by polling booth. Governor Ayo Fayose was said to have used the station to announce the final results ahead of INEC. The National Broadcasting Commission shut it down indefinitely!
Even the final results announced by INEC indicated the figures were cooked up. APC candidate John Kayode Fayemi defeated APC candidate Kolapo Olusola-Eleka with 19, 000+ votes only: APC 197, 459; PDP 178,114. Both total 375, 573. Yet INEC declared that the total number of votes cast was 316,019. Never mind that other parties also scored thousands of votes each!
No election ever conducted on the Nigerian soil has been credible. Vote rigging, violence and manipulation of results by “security” agents and corrupt INEC officials usually mark every election since 1959. As a party, the PDP has just been paid in its own coins in Ekiti. From 2003 to 2011, the ruling PDP rigged elections like bandits. The current APC is composed of many former PDP members.
Now it’s the crying party. This Sunday, the PDP described Saturday’s governorship election in Ekiti State as “electoral banditry” and demanding a cancellation of the poll. At a press briefing, the national publicity secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the party would set up a committee to determine the next course of action. “Nobody, no matter how highly placed,” he said, could cage the PDP.
The PDP said the results declared by INEC were different from those obtained by its agents at the various polling units in the 16 LGAs in the state. It also said should there be any breakdown of law and order in the state, President Muhammadu Buhari, the APC and security agencies should be held responsible for aiding the “subversion of the will of the people.”
Said Ologbondiyan: “The PDP rejects in its entirety the results concocted by the APC, INEC and security agencies in the governorship election in Ekiti state and declared by INEC.
“The party rejects the falsified results and declaration of APC candidate, Dr Kayode Fayemi, to be the winner of the election as a daylight robbery, a brazen subversion of the will of the people and direct assault on our democracy.
“From the authentic results flowing directly from the polling centres across the state, it is clear that the PDP candidate, Professor Kolapo Olusola-Eleka, incontrovertibly won the election, with very comfortable margin over the APC candidate, only for INEC to allow the alteration of results at the collation centres.
“The PDP has the details of all the polling units where we won, mostly with very wide margin ahead of the APC, only for the security agencies to chase away our agents, then aid the alteration and swapping of such results with those smuggled in by the APC at the collation centres.
“We have the detail of the discrepancies between the authentic results from the polling units and the false figures eventually announced by INEC.”
He also stated: “Nigerians are witnesses to all manipulations by the APC, 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 centres amidst the brutalization of our agents.
“It is also instructive to state that all the issues we raised ahead of the election, including the conspiracy among the APC, some compromised INEC officials and security agencies; the importation of thugs from other states by the APC; the use of brute force against our members, and the falsification and alteration of results in favour of the APC all manifested in the election.
“We know how APC conspired with INEC to bring in card-reader machines belonging to Kogi, Lagos, Ondo, Oyo, Ogun states into Ekiti state to enable APC members from these states to vote in Ekiti election with ease.
“Nigerians will recall the irresponsible and inciting statement credited to the national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, where he threatened that the opposition will be ‘crushed’ in this election… The APC governorship candidate, Dr Kayode Fayemi, also vowed that they would ‘cage’ the Ekiti State governor, Chief Ayodele Fayose.”
Both local and foreign observers of the Ekiti farce have since arrived at the same verdict: PDP was robbed by INEC, “security” agents and APC.
The PDP candidate is on his way to the election petitions tribunal.