19 June 2018

Nigeria: Atiku Tells Opposition to Accept Defeat If It Loses

Ado-Ekiti — Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar wants the All Progressives Congress (APC) to be prepared to accept defeat in the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti State. Atiku said this yesterday when he visited the state with members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship Campaign Council.

The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, former Senate President, David Mark, former Kano State Governor, Ibrahim Shekarau, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, and former Governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel accompanied him on the visit.While expressing satisfaction with the party's level of preparedness, Atiku urged the APC to display its democratic credentials for the first time, by accepting the outcome of the poll.He urged the party to emulate the PDP, which in 2015, conceded defeat to it in the presidential election.

Also, Governor Ayodele Fayose said the only thing that the APC is holding on to is to rig the poll.He said: "We have told the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that this poll is a pointer to the 2019 elections, and should therefore save its image."This country is bigger than all of us, and if rigging had been tried elsewhere, it won't work here. The people will defend this election. We are aware of plans to bring thugs here to disrupt the poll, but the people will stand up to them."

Fayose stressed that the whole world is watching to see how the election would be conducted.He said the PDP was looking forward to having observers from all over the world, because "I am the voice that they want to suppress. We are prepared for the election and we are going to win."

In a solidarity move, members of the PDP State Working Committee have pledged to stand solidly behind Fayose.In a statement in Ado-Ekiti yesterday, the Chairman, Gboyega Oguntuase, dismissed a rumour that Fayose planned to trade away the party's candidate, Kolapo Olusola-Eleka.He condemned the destruction of its billboards in Ikere, Ikole, Oye and in Ekiti West Local Government Area, where they stabbed people with broken bottles and other weapons.

Meanwhile, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is expected to lead the party leaders to flag off the APC campaign today at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado-Ekiti.The Guardian observed that armed security men have barricaded all roads leading to the stadium.

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