By Lawrence Olaoye
The Presidency has called on the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to accept defeat in the recent governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states.
Candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa, David Lyon and Kogi’s Yahaya Bello emerged winners of the governorship polls held in both states last Saturday.
A spokesman to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Garba Shehu, in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday said “Predictably, we have seen the accusation of fabricated results from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, the PDP. Yet, the only fabrication is PDP’s conduct.
“It has now become standard procedure for the party to challenge any poll that does not return its candidates. Election is good when the PDP wins. The opposite is the case if any party other than the PDP wins.
“Democracy is not only about who wins or who loses, but also about the process. In disparaging every unfavourable result, they disgrace themselves by casting aspersion on the entire system.
“The February 2019 election saw the loss of five All Progressives Congress, APC governors. The government accepted the results. In doing so, we realised that we did not win the argument in those contests, and so we didn’t win enough votes. We retired to assess what went wrong: were we responsive enough to the electorate’s needs and priorities? How can we improve on speaking to the nation’s hopes? We got ready and prepared ourselves well for the next contest. The result is a healthier, more rigorous election.
“In rejecting the results as PDP has done, this reflection does not happen. Instead, the electorate gets mudslinging. Improvement is not sought, but cries of victimization; this is not an atmosphere in which democratic debate can thrive. Opposition strategy of attacking the electoral commission, security agencies, government at the centre and the person of President Muhammadu Buhari after each election loss is antithetical to healthy democratic norms. Candidates and parties, especially those that have lost, are not told to examine their campaign tactics and strategies with a view to improving their chances for the next election. The result of not doing this is a loss for the electorate and for the parties concerned.
We call on APC supporters to show dignity in victory, and for all Nigerians to remain peaceful in the wake of these elections. We call on PDP to learn to be democrats. We must now come together to build a brighter future for Nigeria.”