President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday alleged that the votes of the
people of Akwa Ibom State were stolen during the recent presidential and
National Assembly elections, vowing that they would be reclaimed
through proper channeL.
Speaking yesterday through the Vice President,
Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, at a town hall meeting held by the elders and
stakeholders of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Uyo, the state
capital, the president called on the electorate in the state to defend
their votes during Saturday’s governorship and State Assembly elections
in the state.
Buhari said it was doubtful that the former
Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio lost the election,
alleging that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
robbed Akpabio and the APC of victory at the polls.
maintained that all the wrongs done during the presidential and National
Assembly elections would be addressed through proper channel.
happened on February 23 was robbery. The votes of the people were stolen
but we are not deterred. The president sent me to thank you today. We
are going to make sure that everything that was stolen on the February
23 would be restored.
“It is not possible that Senator
Godswill Akpabio lost. We are in no doubt that Senator Akpabio is the
elected senator of Akwa Ibom North West senatorial district. I and Adams
Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of the party have been in the
opposition for long and we cannot be defeated anymore. “Everyone of you
should go out to vote on Saturday and defend your votes; we cannot be
cheated; not only you but tell your neighbours to vote for Obong Nsima
Ekere and all APC candidates. Wait for your votes to be counted. It is
the duty of the federal government to provide security and we will do
that. We will recover every one of our votes.
Oshiomhole said the party was not in the state to lament but to thank
the people of the state for doing their jobs and voting President
He alleged that INEC colluded with some of the
electoral officers to deny the state of its electoral victory on
February 23, even though he claimed that the people voted for the party.
have not come here to brag that our mandate was stolen last week. We
have come to thank you that you voted for President Buhari, and all
members of the party. You did your job but some armed robbers in INEC
stole your votes. “You think that those who stole your votes will have
peace? We have come to reaffirm our commitment with democracy. We have
come to affirm that no robber will go unpunished but when an electoral
umpire is corrupt and collude with the opposition, we have the witnesses
and we have lawyers to deal with that.
“On Saturday we are not going
to wait for them to steal out votes. We call on Akwa Ibom people to
protect their votes. We must maintain our sanity even in this hour of
provocation. Those who committed democratic abortion would be brought to
book,” he said. In his speech, the APC governorship candidate in the
state, Nsima Ekere encouraged the people not to be deterred by the
February 23 elections but to go out and vote during the March 9
elections, saying the party is sure of victory.
He said the people of
the state were in need of change and proved it during his campaigns
across the 31 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
assured the president that after March 9 elections, the state would not
be in the opposition but would be reunited with the centre
for what you are doing for APC. The people voted for you; that vote is a
revalidation of what the people want. You put Nigeria’s economy back on
“We are here because we have faith in you and Mr.
President. The opposition and INEC have no choice than to give us back
our mandate. Whosoever shall attempt to work against the collective will
of Akwa Ibom people, we shall collectively resist.
“We send a
message to the electoral umpire and the other party that they must
respect the votes of the people, every vote must count. Akwa Ibom people