…blames violence, and institutional manipulation for the outcome of elections
By John Alechenu, Abuja
The Labour Party has faulted claims by President Muhammadu Buhari that opposition parties lost the 2023 general elections due to overconfidence, complacency and bad tactics.
The party described the president’s views as expressed by his Senior Special Assistant (Media), Mallam Garba Shehu, as unpresidential and disturbing.
This was contained in a statement signed by the party’s Acting National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, in Abuja, on Friday.
The LP noted that the President’s statement was another desperate attempt by the ruling party to seek validation for the electoral fraud which it now celebrates as a victory.
Ifoh said, “We want to point it out clearly to President Muhammadu Buhari that his position on the outcome of the said election was untrue, and it is not a true reflection of what played out during the election.
“There are several reasons why opposition political parties lost the 2023 election; the first is that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC snubbed the electoral act wherein it failed to upload the result from the polling unit in real time as promised and in disregard the laws guiding the election. The INEC by so doing, created room for that election to be rigged.
“Again, the current APC president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu didn’t win the election, because the said election, particularly, the presidential election was manipulated and rigged beyond comprehension.
“So, political parties didn’t lose the election because of overconfidence or complacency as proffered by Mr President, APC in collaboration with the various government agencies simply rigged the election and rigged themselves into power.
“Let me remind Mr President of the magnitude of violence, ballot snuffing, snatching and manipulations of results from the collation centres using security agencies, which included police, army amongst others as well as thugs to manipulate elections in favour of the ruling party.
“Recently, we saw the show of shame that took place in Adamawa. What played out in Adamawa was a microcosm of what played out all over the states during the February 25 and March 18 elections in Nigeria.
“Why the case of Adamawa was given huge publicity and attention because of the involvement of an INEC National commissioner who was a victim, thus forcing INEC to take prompt action.
“From Lagos to Rivers, from north to southern parts of the country, all over, violence characterised that election. In most cases, some agents and supporters were not allowed access to the polling units.”
He further said, “All of these put together, do they amount to overconfidence and complacency on the part of the opposition party?
“It shows that the President who promised Nigerians that he was going to give Nigerians a free, fair and credible election simply failed in his duty to give Nigerians the election they deserved.
“The 2023 general election is the worst election the country ever had since the current republic; since 1999 to date. The 2023 general election is the worst ever reported by virtually all international observers and communities.
“In fact, the election took Nigeria back to the days of First and Second republics where political thugs, where violence and thuggery characterised politics and election.
“So Mr President is completely wrong. I believe that he was ill-advised. It was erroneous for him to say that opposition parties lost the election because of overconfidence.
Ifoh insisted that the “Labour Party won the election but it was brazenly stolen by APC. Mr President is aware of the fact that APC did not win the election and that it was stolen.”