With strong words, a calm demeanour, and flash photography showing tiny beads of sweat on his face, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the loser in last Saturday’s presidential election, has described what transpired as the “implementation of grand theft of the people’s will.”
But he was quick to plead, at a press conference, with fleeing foreign investors and the country’s friends to be patient and keep faith with the Nigerian people.
He adds that their quarrel is not with the Nigerian people, but with those who allegedly stole their mandate. “Please do not punish the people by divesting from Nigeria,” he stated.
Speaking a few hours after President Muhammadu Buhari and his deputy, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, picked up their certificates of return from the National Collation Centre at the International Conference Centre in the heart of Abuja, Atiku told an audience that included Peoples Democratic Party’s bigwigs at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre: “Let me start by thanking you for choosing democracy as the settled system of government for our great nation.
“Democracy is a government of the people by the people, only when the people’s choice prevails. That did not happen on Saturday, February 23, 2019.
“On Election Day, we saw the implementation of grand theft of the people’s will. I am not one for hyperbole so I will just let the facts speak for themselves.
“In Akwa Ibom for instance, the results showed a statistical impossibility of a 62% drop in voter numbers from the 2015 elections even where voter registration and PVC collection rates were much higher than in 2015.
“This pattern was repeated in strongholds of the Peoples Democratic Party, including in Delta, Rivers, Abia and Benue states.
“As this was occurring, we saw another statistical impossibility wherein voter turnout and numbers increased astronomically in Borno State by an almost miraculous 82% in the midst of increased insecurity.
“This pattern was also repeated in other strongholds of the All Progressive Congress.
“One begins to ask if insecurity is conducive to higher voter turnouts and security is antithetical to high voter turnout.
“It is further curious that the Peoples Democratic Party’s margin of victory in states outside the Southeast and South-south were extremely slim across board. That again is a statistical impossibility.
“The fact is that when you calmly look at the numbers declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission as results of the February 23, 2019 elections, they do not add up.
“Let me say that I am not speaking as a member of the Peoples Democratic Party. I am speaking as a Nigerian when I say that the electoral fraud perpetrated by the Buhari administration this past Saturday cannot produce a government of the people for the simple reason that it does not reflect the will of the Nigerian people.
“It is for this reason that I, Atiku Abubakar, reject the results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission declaring Muhammadu Buhari as duly returned by the majority of lawful votes.
“I am conferring with not just my party, but also with the Nigerian people, on next steps, which will be revealed to the public shortly.
“For my fellow Nigerians who feel angry, disillusioned, and let down by the process, I appeal to you to remain calm and steadfast. Rome was not built in a day. We have the real figures, we have the facts that were spoken so loudly on Saturday, February 23, 2019.
“This is a long journey, but I am confident of victory. All hope is not lost. Stay strong, by the grace of God we shall triumph.
“And to investors and friends of Nigeria now pulling out of Nigeria, I urge you to be patient and keep faith with the Nigerian people. Your quarrel is not with the Nigerian people. Your quarrel is with those who stole their mandate. Please do not punish the people by divesting from Nigeria.”