2023 presidential election worst since 1999, says Atiku, heads to court
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, on Thursday rejected the results of Saturday’s election, saying it was not free and fair.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, Atiku described the election as the worst ever conducted since the return to democratic rule inn 1999.
He said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had the opportunity to conduct a perfect exercise with the signing of the new Electoral Act and the deployment of technology, but this was bungled.
Atiku said: “The 2023 presidential election presented our nation and its people the greatest opportunity for a reset. We had everything going for us: a legal framework in the 2022 Electoral Act and the BVAS technology. The enthusiasm of Nigerians to turn out and in large numbers was an added bonus.
“However, the dreams and aspirations of Nigerians who braced all the challenges to go and cast their votes on Saturday, 25th of February, 2023, were shattered by the conduct of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which failed to live up to expectations. The weekend election was neither free nor fair. “Preliminary assessments indicate that it is the worst conducted elections since the return to democratic rule. The manipulation and fraud that attended this election was unprecedented in the history of our nation.
“I can still not understand why the electoral umpire was in such a hurry to conclude collation and announcement of the result, given the number of complaints of irregularities of bypassing of the BVAS, failure of uploading to the IREV, and unprecedented cancellations and disenfranchisement of millions of voters in breach of the Electoral Act and the commission’s own guidelines. It was indeed a rape of democracy.
“Having consulted with leaders of our party and Nigerians from different walks of life, I have come to the conclusion that the processes and outcome of the presidential and National Assembly election of last Saturday was grossly flawed in every material particular, and as such must be challenged. This has been attested to by both local and international observers.
“I want to believe that this was not the legacy that President Muhammadu Buhari had promised. For President Buhari, it is not too late to make amends for the good of our country and the future generations and indeed to assure his legacy.”