A former Minister of Niger Delta in President Goodluck Jonathan government, Godsday Orubebe made frantic move today to stop Professor Attahiru Jega form going ahead with announcement of theSaturday/Sunday Presidential, National Assembly members’ election, throwing the Collation Centre into a theatre of absurd. This is even as All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Organisation described the action as being typical of PDP, asking Nigerians to be vigilant and prayerful so that the process would be carried to its logical conclusion.
Shortly after Professor Jega reconvened the meeting for the second day of collation, Orubebe grabbed the microphone and raged at the electoral umpire in the full glare of camera and the international TV audience. Not even the intervention of security personnel in the hall would assuage the former minister who accused Jega of working for the opposition APC. He called Jega a partial umpire who is tribalistic, stressing that the PDP has no confidence in what he was doing.
He queried the logic behind the results from Katsina, Kano, Kaduna which the PDP alleged were forged to suit the APC candidate.
According Orubebe, a petition was sent to the INEC chairman by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), requesting for investigation into the results released from key northwest states of Katsina, Kano, Jigawa and Kano, but was not accepted by the chairman.
He also said that a petition sent by APC regarding the election in Rivers State was promptly acted on and a team dispatched to the state to investigate.
Orubebe created an ugly scene, insisting that collation would not go ahead as they have lost confidence in the INEC chairman.
Reacting, Professor Jega dismissed the allegation, saying one Dr. Bello Fadile, a PDP agent contrary to the rule gave a petition to his PA from the PDP after yesterday’s session.
However, Jega said he asked his PA to return the document as all letters/petitions are to be submitted through the secretary of the Commission and not at the collation centre.
Jega also dismissed accusation that he gave results to APC that the party has released same
on its website.
“As as I sit with you now, I have not received anything (PDP petition) from the secretary.
“For you to engage me on this issue frankly, is not fair to me. Let us not disrupt a process that has ended peacefully”.
The collation however continued afterwards with Jega upholding the result from Rivers State.
Meanwhile, the Director of Media and Publicity to APC Presidential Campaign Organisation, Garba Shehu urged Nigerians not to under-rate the frustrations of Orubebe and PDP people, adding that Nigerians should anticipate that they will not hesitate to do the unthinkable to subvert the course of the electoral process and, indeed, democracy in the country.
“Much as disgraceful as the action by Elder Orubebe was this morning, it typifies the kind of things Nigerians should expect from the PDP and its agents, in an expression of their desperation and pent-up frustrations with the popular decisions of Nigerians in the March 28 Presidential and National Assembly elections.
“We wish to alert that Orubebe’s drama aimed at disrupting the announcement of the results of the presidential election is just act one scene one in a plot that has many more acts and scenes ahead. The elements of the drama might involve a breach of law and order.
“We therefore call on Nigerians to be watchful, vigilant, and prayerful and remain resolute to protect our democracy from the machinations of agents-provocateurs.”