Elections 2015: How APC rigged Heavily in Lagos – OPC Leader (Read More)



Founder of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) and Chairman of the new Unity Party of Nigeria(UPN), Dr. Frederick Fasehun, has been a thorn in the flesh of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for a while now. His scathing criticisms of the party has not abated one bit.

In this interview with Daily Sun, Fasheun claims that the general elections held in March 28th and April 11th of 2015 were rigged by the APC.

Read below:

What do you have to say on the outcome of the last general elections?

First of all, let me congratulate Nigerians on the successful and peaceful conduct of the elections. This, of course, is a special moment in the life of the nation, as Nigeria has just undertaken, for the first time in its 55 years history, an inter-party, civilian-to – civilian, transition at the national level.

I congratulate both President Goodluck Jonathan and General Muhammadu Buhari for displaying qualities of true sportsmen and statesmen through the conduct and the aftermath of an epochal presidential election. I congratulate President Jonathan for not only running two electoral exercises back- to-back with astounding success. I congratulate him for putting national interest above self by immediately extending solidarity to the new President-elect. I will say Nigeria is the beneficiary from President Jonathan’s politics of accommodation.

One challenge that cropped up at the polls had to do with the Permanent Voter Card (PVC) Reading Machines. Our thinking has always been that the federal elections, especially the presidential and the governorship elections were too important to be used for experimentation and as Guinea Pigs. Just as well meaning Nigerians warned prior to the polls, the card readers did not only malfunction, they were compromised and aided in the large scale rigging that characterised the elections. The initial thinking was that the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) ought to have adopted the common sense approach of introducing and perfecting the innovation in less crucial elections. And these skepticism have been vindicated.

There was undue politicisation of the card-reader matter, and those in its support failed to consider public interest. And this is sad. That we operate in different parties does not mean that we should not see eye-to-eye on glaring matters of national interest. Everyone knew that deploying card readers at this time amounted to gambling with the highly crucial elections. But the moment the party in power raised this objective observation, the opposition felt it duty-bound to oppose whatever reservations PDP expressed. Our chief concern has always been that INEC should deliver free, fair and credible elections. INEC failed in this regard. It looked the other way round as underage voters lined up and abused the electoral franchise up North.

Can you point out a place or State where these things happened for reference purpose?

It is no longer news that the All Progressives Congress ( APC ) executed a technical and scientific rigging of all the elections in Lagos State, as it did in most states where INEC awarded it victory. The ruling party in Lagos used the five elections held on March 28 and April 11, to demonstrate its lack of respect for democracy and democratic principles. This party is simply not interested in free, fair and credible elections.

APC subscribes to do-or-die politics, shows no tendency towards respecting the wishes of the people as expressed through the ballot box. In the build up to the elections, even during the process of the election, APC, perpetrated a lot of illegality. APC thugs wreaked violence in several places before and after the elections. Area boys and thugs, armed with canes and weapons, unleashed violence against voters on queue. This affront on the constitutionally guaranteed right of Nigerians to freedom of association is condemnable. The police and other security agencies should immediately arrest and bring these thugs to face the law.

INEC compromised with the APC from the polling booths, through the collation centres at the ward, local government and state levels. In many places INEC representatives and materials arrived late at their duty posts. And we have cases where INEC ad hoc and permanent staffers colluded with APC to falsify results. Severally, counting was illegally delayed and deferred from the polling centres to council headquarters and police stations, to the exclusion of opposing parties agents.

The results were doctored to suit the highest bidder. Card carrying APC members showed up as INEC staff. One INEC staffer who had been responsible for withholding the PVC of non-indigenes, showed up to conduct the elections, and of course, she compromised with APC.

Do you have any evidence to back up these allegations?

It was more of observations than being an allegation. A lot of people have been saying it. In my own area, Oshodi/Isolo, for instance, APC thugs came and beat people mercilessly. At least, I know of that. And with all we heard from others, we know that if they were able to do what they did in my area, they could as well do that in other places.

It was very funny when one newspaper reported that Dr Fasehun was defeated in his own ward. There is no politician who can defeat Fasehun in Oshodi/Isolo. The candidate that I presented has been given Certificate of Return, although not on the platform of UPN.

What do you have to say on Buhari and his emergence as the president-elect?

Anyway, I have congratulated him. We believe that leopards don’t change their spots. But Buhari should convince Nigerians that serpents do remove their skins and put on new skin. The regalia and title of a General have to be put aside. He has to become a full democrat and govern the country like a democrat.

What will happen to your party now that you have not been able to achieve the goals of setting it up?

Is it going to join the new ruling party or be in opposition party?

Well, the events of the recent past in the political landscape of Nigeria have shown in no unmistakable terms that Nigeria politics is bereft of ideology and integrity. The ideological lines have collapsed and disappeared. Politicians scrambled across party divides in a most unfortunate fashion. The parties quickly became a hobnobbing of strange bed fellows. Politicians embraced the party they used to vilify and abuse in the past. APC folks joined PDP, and PDP jumped into APC. It was a most Machiavellian and mercantile moment in Nigeria’ s political history.

It demonstrated in no small way that our politicians lacked any ideological anchor, which was why they found it convenient to dance to all winds of doctrine and ideology. They were neither rightist nor leftist, neither Progressives nor conservatives, neither communists and socialists, neither Democrats nor labourites.

Ideologically speaking, our politicians stand for nothing. They could stand for anything and fall for everything. No wonder selfishness and corruption ravage the country. It raises the question “what is the motivation for volunteering for politics? Why do people offer themselves for service? What makes a man throw himself into the arena of political and public service? In Nigeria, it appears the main motivation is for pecuniary rather than nationalists or patriotic causes. Against such a background, we have come to the conclusion that the country cannot continue to walk this evil road. Time has come for UPN to rise above the pack. We must define and proclaim for the party its ideological bent.

If nothing else, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who founded UPN, taught his disciples respect for party supremacy, personal discipline and integrity. Unfortunately, these virtues are today missing from Nigeria’s political space. This informs why we find it germane today to restore UPN to the glorious paths originally laid by its founding fathers. The party established its foundation on the ideological pillars of foresight, vision, selflessness, integrity, service and honesty.

Source: Naij