The All Progressives Congress Campaign Council has called on the presidential candidates of Labour Party, Peter Obi and the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, to accept defeat by calling to congratulate the APC flag bearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
The charge was made by the PCC Special Adviser on Media and Strategic Communications, Dele Alake, at a world press conference held in Abuja to address the calls for the Independent National Electoral Commission results to cancel the election.
The development followed the demand by the PDP, LP and the African Democratic Congress for the INEC National Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, to step aside.
The three parties had in a joint press conference on Tuesday alleged that the February 2023 presidential and National Assembly elections were marred with violence, rigging and intimidation of voters.
In the same vein, the PDP vice presidential candidate, Ifeanyi Okowa, has asked Yakubu in a similar conference to cancel the results of Saturday’s elections.
Okowa claimed that there was no transparency in the recently concluded elections because the results were not transmitted to polling units.
But the APC PCC disclosed that those calling for such illegality are not true adherents of democracy.
While urging the supporters of Atiku and Obi to avoid heating the polity, Alake asked the two candidates to borrow a leaf from the exemplary leadership of former President Goodluck Jonathan in the spirit of sportsmanship.
He said, “We call on Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, to emulate former President Goodluck Jonathan by conceding defeat. This election has already been won by our candidate, according to the results declared at the collation centres in the state. In 2015, President Jonathan did not wait for INEC to finish collation before he called President Muhammadu Buhari and congratulated him in the true spirit of democracy and sportsmanship.
“We urge Atiku Abubakar and Obi to follow the same path of honour, instead of attempting to heat the polity via the reckless statements by surrogates. Let Atiku and Obi call Tinubu now.”
Alake, an ex-Lagos information commissioner, took a swipe at former President Olusegun Obasanjo for literally calling for the cancellation of last Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.
According to him, Obasanjo’s demand was anchored on unsubstantiated claims, rumours and allegations of fraud by the opposition parties after observing that they have lost the election.
While saying he was disappointed in the elder statesman statement, the PCC Special Adviser on Media noted that even Obasanjo himself once admitted in an interview that there is no ‘perfect’ electoral system anywhere in the world.
“The APC-PCC wants to say emphatically that former President Obasanjo has no moral right to meddle in this election let alone calling for its cancellation because he is an interested party having publicly, on January 1 this year, endorsed the candidate of Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi.
“Today, they continued their conspiracy to truncate our 24 year democratic journey by raising unfounded allegations against INEC, casting aspersions on the whole electoral process, forgetting the process had handed them unexpected victories in some states.
“We have always suspected that the Labour Party and PDP are the same, only divided by individual inordinate ambition. We want to remind them that election is a process like pregnancy. Like a pregnancy that has reached full term, it cannot be aborted. We are not in 1993 when June 12 was aborted by similar forces. It is too late to do so,” he said.
The Chief Spokesman for the APC PCC, Festus Keyamo, also scolded critics calling for the resignation of the INEC chairman.
Keyamo stated that it was “legally wrong” for any candidate or political party to call for a change in the electoral process when the official results had not even not even been declared.