The national leadership of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) on Wednesday rejected the outcome of Saturday’s governorship election and declared that it was heading to the election petition tribunal to reclaim its mandate for the people of the state.
At a joint press conference in Abuja, addressed by the National Working Committee of the party and its candidate in the election, Chief Segun Oni, it said that its legal team was already compiling evidence and facts to challenge the results of the governorship election in Ekiti State.
Speaking, the party’s national chairman, Mallam Shehu Gabam declared that the election was fraught with and marred by vote-buying which, if allowed to go unchallenged, would derail the country’s democracy.
Gabam who accused President Muhammadu Buhari of compromise for celebrating the outcome of the election said should vote-buying be allowed to continue, politicians would no more campaign but loot the treasury in order to buy votes during elections.
He lamented that Nigeria’s democracy was under threat, and called on well-meaning Nigerians to come to her rescue.
According to him, “We expected a very transparent election in Ekiti State. We expected an election with a human face. We expected an election that is full of remorsefulness given the past record we have had in this country.
“Above all we thought that the President and the Commander-in-Chief had made several promises to this country that he wanted to leave a legacy of a free and fair election, what we saw in Ekiti is the president chewing back his promise.
“What we saw in Ekiti was the worst of elections in the history of Nigeria. We thought the last elections we saw in Kogi and Bayelsa states were mistakes, but seeing the president within a short period of time celebrating his party for winning Ekiti State was quite embarrassing to the country.
“We thought the President who is the commander-in-chief who is the leader of the country and given so many promises he had made to Nigeria, would ensure that a free election is being conducted in Ekiti state.
“Two, the ground is shifting. INEC is trying its very best to make sure that elections are being conducted under a conducive atmosphere, materials were delivered as when due. But what we saw from the videos, from the pictures that were available to everybody, the media including the NGOs, the international community., was an election that was invaded by vote-buying.
“The danger is that next election that is coming majority of the people will not bother to campaign, they will concentrate in looting public treasury and those who have other criminal ways of making money will stock their money, just wait for election day, not bother about the process, they will just buy voters. There is no great danger to democracy than what we saw in Ekiti.
On his part the governorship candidate of the party in the election, Segun Oni, agreed with the party chairman, adding that the county belonged to all and should be rescued from the hands of those seeking desperately to destroy it.
Oni said if democracy is allowed to be butchered, Nigerians would be the biggest losers.