* Vows Not To Recognise Buhari As President- Elect
Chief Ayo Adebanjo, elder statesman and leader of pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has described the 2019 presidential election won by President Muhammadu Buhari as a farce, saying he could not recognise him as president-elect.
In a chat with Daily Independent, Adebanjo expressed optimism that Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), would reclaim his mandate at the court.
He said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) wrongly declared President Buhari as winner of the election.
He said: “The election was a farce. I don’t regard Buhari as president. Buhari was wrongly declared winner by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). When we get to court, we would know who the real president is.
“How can you call Buhari president with the way the presidential election was conducted in a 21st century Nigeria? Look at the elections, they were completely militarised. Corps members were openly kidnapped to rig the elections.
“Nobody would tell me such elections would be recognised by the court. We would not be violent. Let the court not ignore the evidence that would be put before it.”
Also speaking on the performance of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of INEC, Adebanjo described it as woeful.
He said the 2019 election conducted under his watch was the worst in Nigeria’s history.
“He has performed below expectation. This election is one of the worst in the country’s history. The misrepresentation of Atiku at the collation centres, the cancelled votes and other irregularities show that there was no free and fair election.
“In so many states, there were irregularities. If you look at it well, Atiku won by more than three million votes, which Buhari claimed to have won.
“We would place all our facts in the judiciary and we know they would deliver.
“I am not one of those people who would say don’t go to court. Why would I say that? Atiku would get justice there. If he does not get justice, he would get justice in the view of the people because the people know the truth. I am telling the judiciary not to disgrace themselves by ignoring the fact.”
Also speaking on Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s opposition to the restructuring of Nigeria, Adebanjo described him as a dishonest intellectual and a disgrace, saying it was surprising that Osinbajo and Bola Tinubu would be opposed to restructuring on which basis they were elected to office.
“The vice president is a dishonest intellectual. Tinubu and Osinbajo came to office on the basis of restructuring, and it was on the basis of restructuring that Osinbajo took Obasanjo to court when, during his time as president, Obasanjo did not release local government funds when he (Osinbajo) was the Attorney General in Lagos State.
“They are just turning blind eyes to it. I know him, he is my son.
“Intellectually, academically he is a first class, but he is a disgrace.
“Somebody who was born into restructuring is saying he does not know what restructuring is all about. His father and I were key followers of Awolowo.”
Also speaking on the elections, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, a former Minister of Transport, said he was not surprised at the outcome of the elections because he knew all along that the APC would manipulate the results.
Babatope, a member of the PDP’s Board of Trustees (BoT), however, said the PDP had not lost hope because the judiciary would right the wrongs just as it did with the Osun governorship election.
“I must confess that I am not surprised that APC manipulated that election. The matter is now before the tribunal and the PDP has already protested, but I knew all the time that APC was going to manipulate the 2019 elections and they did. But that notwithstanding, we have not lost hope.
“We believe we will have cause to celebrate when the tribunal delivers its judgment because the judiciary now is the only hope of the common man and it must ensure that it defends the interest of the common people of this country; otherwise, the country would have lost the right to call itself a democratic nation. “Buhari has come back under questionable circumstances and for which I am happy that Atiku Abubakar, our presidential candidate, has gone to the tribunal,” Babatope said.