Former Vice President and Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has slammed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over what he described as “the worst election in the history of Nigeria.”
Atiku, who spoke at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, February 25, 2023, said that the electoral body had failed “woefully” in its responsibility to conduct a free, fair, and credible election.
According to Atiku, the election was marred by widespread irregularities, including voter intimidation, vote-buying, and ballot-box snatching, which he claimed were perpetrated by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and its agents. He also accused the security agencies of colluding with the APC to manipulate the outcome of the election in their favor.
Atiku, who had earlier rejected the results of the Presidential election, said that he had no other option than to challenge the outcome in court. He expressed confidence in the judiciary, stating that he believes justice will be served.
“I believe in the rule of law and in the sanctity of our electoral process. That is why I have decided to take this matter to court. I am confident that the judiciary will do justice and uphold the will of the people,” Atiku said.
The former Vice President, who contested against President-Elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the APC, said that he had been fighting for Nigeria’s democracy for over three decades, and that the struggle had nearly cost him his life and the destruction of his businesses.
“I have been fighting for Nigeria’s democracy for over three decades. I have been a victim of several injustices. I have lost my businesses and my family has been affected. But I have never given up on Nigeria, and I will not give up now,” Atiku said.
He called on his supporters and Nigerians to remain calm and peaceful, stating that the fight for Nigeria’s democracy is a collective one that requires the participation of all citizens.
“This fight is not about Atiku Abubakar. It is about Nigeria and our collective future. We must remain united and focused on the task ahead. We must continue to demand for a free, fair, and credible election, and we must not relent until we achieve it,” Atiku said.
The Presidential election, which was held on February 25, 2023, saw Bola Ahmed Tinubu declared the winner with over 8 million votes, while Atiku came second. However, the PDP has rejected the results, alleging that the election was rigged in favor of the APC.