17 April 2011

Nigeria: Poll - I Won't Go to Court, My Party May - Buhari

Abuja — The presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, commended yesterday's presidential election, restating his decision not to challenge the results in court if he lost, but said that his party may challenge the result.

"I have already said that this time around I will not go to court but my party may decide to go to court," he said. However, he commended INEC for addressing most of the lapses experienced in the National Assembly election.

Buhari spoke shortly after casting his vote at Sarkin Yara 'A' polling unit in his hometown Daura.

He, lamented that there were still reported cases of illegal thumb-printing of ballot papers in some places across the country. "In most of the places, voting is going on smoothly. "But there were still problems of nocturnal movements from last night to the early hours of today with airplanes carrying ballot papers to some of the states where they were being thumb-printed in several places," he alleged.

Buhari urged the police to make a categorical statement on the recent alleged interception of some ballot papers in Abuja meant for the presidential election.

Meanwhile, the CPC has raised the alarm over what it called intensive moves to rig the presidential elections.

The national chairman of the party, Prince Tony Momoh, stated this statement made available to LEADERSHIP SUNDAY. He decried what he claimed attempts to "embarrass the country by manipulating results through imposing on the people what they did not say through the vote that represent the only power they have to show that in them and only in them does sovereignty reside".

Momoh, who only came short of accusing the INEC of complicity in the conspiracy to defraud the electorate, however, alleged that there were violations of processes of the elections by INEC He said: "Reports reaching us from most polling stations from some zones of the country show clearly the trappings of freeness and fairness in the elections. Much as we concede to the INEC the obligation in law to announce results, we have access to the results posted at the various voting centres and we believe and insist that what we are given as results will be the totality of the votes cast.

"We draw attention to the need for openness in the collation stage of the elections because of disturbing reports we have of massive infusion into our electoral process of the results of illegal ballot papers that have been discovered countrywide in the control of those who have no business having them. This is a clear breach of INEC directives which seemed to have been so very confidently obeyed in the breach than the observance.

"Reports from the field show that there was a large turnout of voters in three geo-political zones - North-East, North-West and North-Central. There was, however, low turnout in the South-South, South-East and South-West. Free and fair on the face as the elections were in many places, they were characterised by large circulation of ballot papers/boxes and result sheets outside the approved polling stations before and during the elections".

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