The Director-General of Voice of Nigeria(VON) and chieftain of the governing All Progressives Congress(APC), Osita Okechukwu, has reacted the insistence of the ex-Nigeria Vice President and the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to challenge the outcome of the just concluded 2019 presidential election.
It had been reported on Monday evening, that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar and his party(PDP) had finally filed a petition challenging Buhari’s re-election.
Atiku and his party are challenging Buhari’s reelection on the grounds of alleged massive riggings, malpractices and non-compliance substantially with the electoral laws.
But speaking in a telephone interview on Tuesday morning, Okechukwu said, “I think that His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar should recall that Mr. President has a treasured vote bank of 12 million voters that first surfaced in his first entry into a presidential election in 2003 and resurfaced in 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019.
“So, the vote bank cannot be eroded by any legal technicalities. The vote bank President Buhari has, is a treasure, it is incontrovertible. There is no legal entity that could pull it down. It is good that he(Atiku) went to court, because, court is one of the processes that democracy has laid down.
“Mr. President’s 12 million voters are coming to electoral battle. He first made an entry in 2003, repeated it in 2007,2011,2015 and 2019. If Mr. President was to go for another election, he will also return. So, this is Late Aminu Kano tradition in the north, which Buhari inherited.
“It is a tradition that is based on transparency and integrity. If you have these things in the north, the northerners will give you their vote. And if you go through the demographic cadre of INEC registered voters of 64 million, farmers had 15 per cent, housewives 14 per cent, artisans 5 per cent. And those are the cadres Mr President’s support is based.
The VON DG added, “Atiku did not make any million votes in any of the states of the federation. The highest he got was six hundred and something thousand in Kaduna, while Mr President got one point something million votes. Mr President got one point something million in Katsina and Kano states. That had been his train. So, I don’t know the legal technicalities that could erode it, it is impossible.
“But, it is good that His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar did not resort to violence, that he resorted to the court process. I commend him highly for that. But, I do not know the legal technicalities that will erode a consistent 12 million votes bank in each election President Buhari had exhibited. That is why a lot of prominent Nigerians, including Oliseh Agbakoba, SAN, had advised Atiku not to go to court”.