The position of about 60 presidential candidates in the 2019 general elections over the controversy surrounding the use of server during the polls has continued to generate reactions.
Naija News earlier reported the candidates, under the aegis of Joint Forum of 60 Presidential Candidates and National Chairmen, at a press conference addressed by Alhaji Mohammed Shittu, said the Independent National Electoral Commission did creditably well.
They also described the controversy been generated by Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the election on the issue of INEC servers as unnecessary, warning him to stop heating up the polity.
The statement from the aspirants has continued to draw reactions from Nigerians including the presidency who have welcomed the endorsement of 2019 Presidential Elections, which was described as free, fair and credible, by 60 presidential candidates and chairmen of their parties.
The presidency also called on other opposition parties to accept their loss with grace and maturity.
However, in its reaction, the major opposition party, the PDP, claimed the group was hurriedly put together by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to distort the facts surrounding the use of servers for the 2019 presidential election in the country.
Here is the full statement from the party released on Tuesday and signed by Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary of the PDP.
“The attention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been drawn to a press release by an amorphous group parading as “Forum of Presidential Candidates of the 2019 Elections and National Party Chairmen” lending support to denial by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of the existence of the server it used in the 2019 general elections.
This group, our investigation reveals, was hurriedly conjured by leadership of INEC and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to assist them in distorting facts, and making misrepresentations on a matter that are already subjudice, all in their attempt to clean up INEC’s blunders on the existence of the server, sway judicial pronouncements and influence public opinion on extant matters in court
The PDP invites Nigerians to note that the press release by this nebulous group emerged after INEC’s several blunders while the Presidency has already admitted that the claim by the PDP and millions of Nigerians that INEC had a server wherein it stored results of the 2019 elections, “constitutes the fulcrum” of contention in the Presidential election.
Nigerians are already aware of the existence of the server, which was duly budgeted for, set up in various INEC offices and in which data from the elections, including results, were stored. Moreover, the ruling of the Court of Appeal preventing the PDP from inspecting the server does not in any way obviate the existence of the said server.
Furthermore, PDP counsels that instead of engaging in this unnecessary media trial, INEC should have listed its nebulous group as witness in the election tribunal.
We also challenge INEC to confront the indictment contained in the reports of the European Union and other international agencies which showed evidence that the 2019 general elections were marred by irregularities and violation of rules by the Commission.
It is therefore unfortunate that at a time when the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, ought to be apologizing to Nigerians for the failure of the commission he leads to conduct a credible, free and fair election, a mass electoral failure consequent upon which the nation has over 766 election cases across the country, his commission is now contracting faceless groups to launder its sinking image and pass a confidence vote on Yakubu.
The PDP therefore counsels INEC to own up to its failures put an end to its consistent denials on the existence of the server as justice will be served at the end of the day.”