The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State has described the elections conducted in the state as a charade which defied all decent, civilised and acceptable approaches to democracy.
PDP State Chairman, Chief Gboyega Oguntuwase, said the Presidential, National Assembly and House of Assembly elections in the state were characterized with violence, ballot-snatching, ballot stuffing, vote-buying allegedly perpetrated by the All Progressives Congress (APC) members “to win all available legislative seats in the state”.
Oguntuwase, who spoke in Ado Ekiti on Sunday while reviewing the elections, said that the party had “resolved not to allow the rape of democracy go unchallenged hence our resolve to approach the Judiciary as the only democratic process available”.
He said: “We have given all our candidates in the National Assembly elections the go-ahead to pursue the cases against the elections at the tribunal because if the broad daylight robbery against democratic attitudes go unchallenged, it is going to consume the nation and our democratic norms and process.
“The general elections in Ekiti State were bedeviled by violence, ballot snatching, threat to lives, threat to properties and the entire state was riddled with uncivilised attitude to politics” he said.
The PDP chairman, who hinged the resolve to challenge the National Assembly elections on the party’s “commitment to purifying the system,” however did not disclose the team of lawyers being lined up by the party for the legal battle “for tactical reasons”.
Although Oguntuwase accused the APC of “all known electoral offences in the House of Assembly election”, he said: “We might not have the capacity for litigation here, but we are not foreclosing the possibility. But I can tell you categorically that out national Assembly candidates will challenge the uncivilised approach of APC to democracy.
“During the National Assembly elections, the house of one of our candidates was riddled with bullets, ballot papers were torn, votes were bought freely with the use of tags for N5,000. Our members were harassed and arrested. We raised the alarm before and during the elections, but nothing was done. All these which were unchecked during the first election showed themselves clearly again during the second election.
“But I am telling you that the calamity that has come upon our nation today was started by the APC in Ekiti. The inability of Nigerians to rise against it then is what has caused Nigerians all the mess that we are going through now. Elections were declared inconclusive in five or six states where the winners should have been declared outright.
“The nation is under the siege of self-deceit. We are appealing to APC not to destroy this nation, not to destroy the democratic process. APC should learn from former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, who voluntarily, even before conclusion of elections, conceded victory to APC because he did not want violence,” he said.
But the APC, State Publicity Secretary, Hon Ade Ajayi, dismissed the allegations, saying: “It is an afterthought. The elections in Ekiti were held under peaceful atmosphere. Ekiti people went to the polls without rancor or violence”.
Ajayi, who said PDP’s resolve to go to the tribunal was commendable as the opposition party did not toe the line of violence, said: “We will meet them there. They are free to go to court. They have the constitutional backing. I commend them for not resorting to violence. When we get to the courts, we will defeat them again because the truth will always prevail.
“INEC was proactive enough to release the results as early as possible. Ekiti people realized that PDP deceived them for four years and they in turn jettisoned PDP at the elections. That was what the general elections in the state reflected,” the APC spokesperson said.