3 December 2018

PDP Frustrated Because It Can No Longer Rig Elections — Keyamo



Festus Keyamo, Spokesperson of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, said on Sunday that leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were crying foul and embittered because it had become difficult for them to rig elections since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power.
He was speaking on the call by the PDP that the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) should resign for allegedly working hand-in-hand with the APC.
Keyamo said the PDP had been rigging every election conducted since 1999 and that each time the PDP lost an election, it became frustrated over their inability to rig its way to power.
Speaking further, Keyamo said the PDP was also embittered and angry because of its inability to have access to government funds which it had been using to rig elections.
He said: “What is going on is not a cry about rigging. The opposition is really not crying about rigging each time this election holds and they lose. They are crying about being prevented from rigging. That is what they are crying about.
“I want to put it on tape now that since 1999, the PDP had no other means to win elections than to write results. So, they found themselves in a new territory and they are uncomfortable with it. They don’t know how to canvass voters.
“The second problem they have is that they don’t know how to run elections without massive money. Apart from the popularity of President Buhari, these are the two handicaps they have now and which they will face going into 2019 elections.”
Keyamo also expressed optimism that the 2019 presidential election would be easier for President Buhari than his contest with former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015, saying Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential flag bearer could never divide Buhari’s votes in the North.
“In 2011, we had four presidential candidates from the North. Nuhu Ribadu, Ibrahim Shekarau, Mahmud Waziri, and Muhammadu Buhari.
“Did they divide Buhari’s votes? In fact, that was when he got 12 million votes from the North. Nobody can divide Buhari’s votes in the North,” he said.
On the chances of the APC in 2019, Keyamo said though the party might not be the best political party for Nigerians, it was still far better when compared to what the PDP offered during its 16 years in power.
Keyamo, who once asked Nigerians to form a third bloc that would take over from the APC and PDP, said while he was not denying the statement, he believed Nigerians could decide to look for an alternative to the APC in the future if they believed the party was not offering them what they desired.
He said: “I agree and I am saying it for the umpteenth time, and nobody should misquote me. APC is not the best political party we can have. Is it the best? No, but it is better than what we have before, which is the PDP. Will I be foolish enough to say that it is the best? Is it a perfect party?”
“The APC is a work in progress and that is why you can see internal struggles for positions and all that. You can see complaints of marginalisation by some members
“So, it is not the best but it is far better than what we had before. The only problem is that when people like you play this recording now, you will stop at where I said APC is not the best but you will not mention the second part of the statement where I said it is far better than PDP.
“I am not a sycophant to say that God is working in Nigeria. We are all human beings. It is an imperfect system that we are trying to perfect.
“I said that after some time, if this system does not improve or become perfect, people should think of going further and forming a third bloc. It is a work in progress and I am not talking about 2019 or 2023, it may be in the future.
“Our parties are not based on ideologies and that is why you see people jumping from one party or the other overnight.
“Imagine a conservative turning to a progressive overnight or a progressive turning to a conservative overnight. Is that possible?
“They are only looking for tickets. So, I will not sit down here and be a fool to say our parties are based on ideologies. Why did I say that both APC and PDP are not the best?
“It is because there is really no ideology behind them. The APC is still the party that still presents something better in the sense that all the leaders of APC, apart from those joining behind, you can associate them with progressive politics over the years.
“I am talking of President Buhari, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
“These ones have never been in the ruling party. Never! That is what makes the difference. Apart from these few ones, every other person is just water flowing from one stream to another.
“So, you can still see that there is some semblance of progressive politics in the ruling party. That is all I said and if you ask me again, I will repeat the same thing on tape. APC is not the best but it is still a far cry from where we are coming from.”
However, responding to Keyamo’s claims, the PDP, through its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said all it was asking for was that INEC and security agents be impartial in carrying out their duties in the 2019 elections.
Describing the ruling party as master riggers, the PDP said it had been using INEC and security agents to rig elections and engaging in brazen vote buying which as witnessed in the Ekiti and Osun governorship polls, as well as the Kwara bye-elections.
“Keyamo likes conjuring words. That is his stock in trade, and so we are not surprised.
“We are not crying foul over anything. We are only warning INEC to ensure free, fair, and credible elections in 2019.”
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