The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has said that last Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections were largely flawed and should be challenged.
Atiku, who said this in a press briefing on Thursday, accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of shattering the dreams and aspirations of Nigerians with their conduct of the polls.
“Having consulted with leaders of our party who are seated here with me and Nigerians from different walks of life, I have come to the conclusion that the processes and outcome of the presidential and national elections on Saturday was grossly flawed by every single material and as such, must be challenged by all of us,” Atiku said in Abuja.
He noted the 2023 presidential election presented Nigeria and Nigerians an opportunity for a reset but claimed that INEC “failed woefully.” Atiku said that the electoral umpire’s failure has been attested to by both local and international observers.
The PDP flag bearer wondered why the electoral umpire was in a haste to declare the result of the election, calling the process “a rape of democracy”.
Atiku believes this is not the legacy the Buhari-led government wants to leave behind for Nigerians, adding that it is not late for Buhari to make a U-turn.
Saying that the last Saturday election is not about him but about the future of the Nigerian youths, Atiku, however, called on the youths to conduct themselves well.
While the PDP and LP have rejected the outcome of the poll, Atiku, who ran alongside Obi in the 2019 election, says he is open to working with the former Anambra State governor.
“So, as far as I am concerned, Peter is welcome to dialogue with the PDP. We are ready to dialogue with him. I don’t think we will have a problem if he wants to dialogue with the PDP, whether for an alliance or not,” he said during the event.
Obi, who was a former chieftain of the PDP left the party before the presidential primary and joined the LP where he became its candidate.
But Atiku has faulted the move which he said was “hasty” and not well-thought-out.
“At the time Peter decided to leave the PDP for the Labour Party, we had not really begun our primary process,” Atiku explained. “So, the question of whether he was going to get a ticket or not did not arise.”