The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has accused the Buhari-led government of manipulating Nigeria’s electoral body to disenfranchise voters.
In a statement, few hours after Nigerians Independent National Electoral Commission postponed Saturday, February 16 elections hours to polls to next week, he doubted the autonomy of the commission.
“This postponement is obviously a case of the hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob,” Atiku Abubakar who is a former Vice President said.
“By instigating this postponement, the Buhari administration hopes to disenfranchise the Nigerian electorate in order to ensure that turn out is low on the rescheduled date.”
The PDP candidate is therefore admonishing Nigerians to “frustrate” the plans of the ruling party by “coming out in even greater numbers on Saturday, 23 February and Saturday, 9 March respectively.”
President Muhammadu Buhari has in a tweet expressed disappointment in the turn of event.
He later issued a statement criticising INEC’s decision and denying any interference in the affairs of the Commission.
“This administration has ensured that we do not interfere in any way with the work of INEC except to ensure that all funds were released to the commission.
“We now urge INEC to ensure not only that materials already distributed are safe and do not get into wrong hands, but that everything is done to avoid the lapses that resulted in this unfortunate postponement, and ensure a free and fair election on the rescheduled dates,” Buhari said.
But Atiku Abubakar also suspects the postponement was planned to “provoke” Nigerians to give negative reaction so that the government can use as an “excuse for further anti-democratic acts”.
“As such, I call on all Nigerians to be patient. We have tolerated the maladministration of this government for four years. We can extend our tolerance a few more days and give them our verdict via our votes.”