TEXT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE BY MR. DELE ALAKE SPECIAL ADVISER, MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION, ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN COUNCIL ON FEBRUARY 27TH, 2023 IN ABUJA
Gentlemen of the press
The APC Presidential Campaign Council and our Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, are thankful to Nigerians for coming out in large numbers to exercise their civic duty on Saturday, February 25, 2023. It was, yet again, a momentous day in our democratic journey as Nigerians lined up to choose the next set of leaders, especially the President and National Assembly members that will direct the affairs of our country for the next four years.
We are glad to note the very convivial atmosphere under which the election was conducted. Domestic and international observers have adjudged the election and the process as credible and transparent. They also thumbed up the electoral commission and security agencies for the general peaceful conduct of the election. This is in spite of isolated cases of technical hitches and attempts by some of our desperate opponents to subvert the process through violence and other malpractices.
The results trickling in since the close of voting on Saturday have clearly shown the direction Nigerians have chosen to go. Right from the polling unit results received from across the country, the signs were clear that the deceit and propaganda of the opposition did not fetch them the expected votes. This has expectedly generated anxiety in their camps with many of their leaders making irresponsible incendiary comments.
We note with utmost concern those inciting comments and call to violence by some spokespersons of the opposition, especially those from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). We are particularly concerned and call on the State Security Services and the Nigeria Police Force to immediately restrain persons such as Dino Melaye, Dele Momodu and a certain Pastor Paul Enenche of Dunamis Church from their clear call to violence.
Melaye’s tweet threatening violence, Momodu going on the TV to announce a purported winner and Enenche’s hate speech from the pulpit violate every law of the land. They should not go scot-free.
When failure stared them in the face, rather than accept the outcome with dignity like good democrats would, some sore losers began shopping for ways to cut corners or scuttle the process. We have seen many doctored results giving false victory to the Labour Party in places where it performed abysmally poor. The idea was to give its followers hope and prepare them for a planned street insurrection. The PDP has employed almost similar tactics despite secretly admitting defeat. They went about with mouthwatering offers looking for willing partners that would help them subvert the will of the people.
Perhaps having failed to procure officials to help it doctor results, the PDP earlier today rented willing airwaves to make very dangerous statements on the election.
We also wonder why agents of the party at the Abuja collation centre are pushing insistently for the uploading of the results on INEC portal, when section 60 of the Electoral Act is clear about who has the power to do so at the polling unit. The state collation officer has no such power. The INEC chairman, who collates what has been collated from the states also has no such power.
Is the PDP calling for the upload to enable it hack the system to give it a false victory?
Unlike what the PDP spokesmen have done, we will not announce ourselves as winners despite having the figures which affirm our anticipated victory.
We will abide by the laws by allowing the electoral umpire to do its job.
A cursory look at the figures from across the states show that our candidate is well placed for victory. The results have shown that the Labour Party, as we kept saying, is no threat to our victory.
The PDP, on the other hand, has also failed in its own permutation making its dream of victory go up in smoke. The PDP’s projection of a landslide win in the North has collapsed.
For example, the PDP’s celebrated victory in Katsina State was only with a difference of less than 7,000 votes. On the other hand, the APC maintains a lead of over 30,000 and 150,000 in nearby Jigawa and Zamfara states, respectively.
The bad news for PDP, however, is its dismal performance in Kano where the APC is emerging with over 600,000 difference ahead of the PDP. This is a monumental figure which offsets the PDP in the entire North.
The trend is the same in the South where PDP’s very poor show in Lagos, Oyo, Rivers and other key states spell doom for the party. The little gains made by the PDP in South-South and South-East are too little to compensate for the party’s huge deficit suffered in the South-West.
In the North Central, the APC has decimated all parties to a comfortable majority votes in Kwara, Kogi and Niger. Our impressive show in Benue, FCT and Plateau is also pushing PDP into third position in these places.
Taken together, we are very upbeat as the numbers do not lie. We call on the opposition to stop the macabre dance of a dying horse and embrace defeat honourably. There can still be honour in defeat.
We once again call for maturity and restraint. Nigerians have spoken through the ballots and the umpire must be allowed to do its work without harassment or blackmail.
Security agents should stay on alert and deal with individuals and groups who are planning to foment trouble. Election is not a war. This is democracy at play.
We once again thank Nigerians for subscribing to our message of Renewed Hope and ask our supporters to remain calm and hopeful as we will ensure that their votes are not manipulated by any ethnic power-mongering person, subversive elements, or serial losers!