The Presidency on Monday chided the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for always “disparaging every unfavourable result” of elections.
It urged the opposition party to accept its defeat in Saturday’s governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states with grace instead of “casting aspersions” on the exercise
The All Progressives Congress (APC) won Saturday’s governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states but the PDP rejected the results, citing rigging and violence.
In a statement, Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said rather than accept defeat, the PDP is engaged in accusation of results fabrication.
He said: “Predictably, we have seen the accusation of fabricated results from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party. Yet, the only fabrication is PDP’s conduct.
“It has now become standard procedure for the party to challenge any poll that does not return its candidates. Election is good when the PDP wins. The opposite is the case if any party other than the PDP wins.”
According to him, democracy is not only about who wins or who loses, but also about the process.
He added: “In disparaging every unfavourable result, they disgrace themselves by casting aspersion on the entire system.
“The February 2019 election saw the loss of five All Progressives Congress governors. The government accepted the results.
“In doing so, we realised that we did not win the argument in those contests, and so we didn’t win enough votes. We retired to assess what went wrong: were we responsive enough to the electorate’s needs and priorities? How can we improve on speaking to the nation’s hopes?
He said that the APC got its acts together to prepare for subsequent elections.
“We got ready and prepared ourselves well for the next contest. The result is a healthier, more rigorous election.
“In rejecting the results as the PDP has done, this reflection does not happen. Instead, the electorate gets mudslinging. Improvement is not sought, but cries of victimization; this is not an atmosphere in which democratic debate can thrive.
“Opposition strategy of attacking the electoral commission, security agencies, government at the centre and the person of President Muhammadu Buhari after each election loss is antithetical to healthy democratic norms.
“Candidates and parties, especially those that have lost, are not told to examine their campaign tactics and strategies with a view to improving their chances for the next election. The result of not doing this is a loss for the electorate and for the parties concerned.
“We call on APC supporters to show dignity in victory, and for all Nigerians to remain peaceful in the wake of these elections. We call on PDP to learn to be democrats. We must now come together to build a brighter future for Nigeria.” he stated.
The APC yesterday urged the new governors-elect to perform to peoples’ expectations when they take office.
Reacting to the Bayelsa and Kogi elections, PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, accused the APC-led government of trampling on democracy with utmost impunity that can only be comparable to Hitler’s Germany and Samuel Doe’s Liberia.
It accused security forces of aiding armed hoodlums to invade polling centres, to shoot and kill innocent citizens, cart away ballot boxes, and stuff them with already thumb-printed ballot papers in favour of APC.
The party said: “It is distressing that under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration, votes no longer count; power and governance no longer derive from the people but violence, manipulations and the barrel of the gun.”
PDP governorship candidate in Kogi, Musa Wada, said the election was like a declaration and execution of war against the people.
“What happened in Kogi was an organised war against democracy; coup against the people and seizure of power through brigandage and the barrel of the gun with members of the police and other security agencies coordinating the stealing of people’s votes,” he said.
PDP governorship candidate Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, said: “For us, the rule of law is under threat in this democracy; anarchy is looming in this democracy, democracy is being raped. All the figures reeled out are a charade and a ruse.”