By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, has defeated the incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan, who is the presidential candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in an online poll conducted by the African Independent Television (AIT).
The online poll said to have been conducted by the programmes department of the AIT, which was ongoing yesterday indicated that Buhari garnered a total of seven thousand, eight hundred and twenty five votes (7825) as at press time, representing over seventy six per cent (76.87%) of the total online poll.
On the other hand, the incumbent President Jonathan got two thousand and forty five votes (2045), representing twenty per cent (20.09%) of the total online poll.
Other presidential candidates, including those of United Peoples Party (UPP), Chekwas Okorie, Action Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Ganiyu Galadima, polled sixty nine and thirty seven votes respectively.
The candidates of African Democratic Congress (ADC), Mani Ahmed, Progressive Party of Nigeria (PPN), Allagoa Kelvin Chinedu, and National Conscience Party (NCP), Martin Onovo, respectively scored forty one, forty four and thirty seven votes, according to the online poll.
Lastly, KOWA party’s candidate, Comfort Oluremi Sonaiya, Alliance for Democracy (AD) candidate, Rafiu Salau, and APA presidential candidate scored fifty two (52), eighteen (18) and twelve (12) votes to come distant in the online poll.
An official of AIT who was contacted for comment denied knowledge of the poll saying his organisation did not conduct it, but another staffer confided in our reporter that the poll was actually conducted by the programmes department of the AIT.
Some PDP supporters who commented on the online result, dismissed it as the wish of the APC, saying it is far from the reality on ground, even as they faulted the polling, allegedly because it allowed for multiple voting.
“It’s a pity none of you witnessed what is narrated. It was after I cried foul that they corrected the faulty process. AIT knows better that multiple voting was allowed initially. I voted APC once and GEJ 15 times before they corrected the process”, one of the voters, simply identified as Ebenezer, said.
In the same vein, the APC loyalists had held tenaciously onto the poll result, describing it as an xray of what will happen in February 14 presidential election.
One of them, who gave his name as Shadrach Esene, said “Don’t mind these losers, they will always find a way to shout foul.”, while another who was identified himself as Scachy, said “I was able to vote only once in favour of the political party I voted. I wonder why people like discrediting and misleading the people unnecessarily
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has raised an alarm over fresh moves by anti-democratic forces to use the courts to postpone or scuttle next month’s general elections, calling on the judiciary to protect the nation’s democracy and on Nigerians to repudiate the desperadoes and their allies who are behind the plot.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said after all the efforts to stop the APC presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari failed, the anarchists have moved on to the next chapter, which is to use the courts to stop the elections at all cost.
It said the case instituted at a Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday, seeking a declaration that Gen. Buhari lacks the requisite qualification to contest the Feb. 14th presidential election, is the first in a series of court cases to be instituted just so that the elections will not hold.
‘’We are not surprised at this, because these desperadoes are so predictable. They are following the footsteps of the infamous Association for Better Nigeria (ABN) which helped to annul the 1993 elections and which threw Nigeria into a crisis from which it has yet to fully recover, over 20 years later.
‘’We can only appeal to the judiciary not to become a willing tool in the hands of those who will stop at nothing to scuttle the elections, just to perpetuate their firm grip on power,’’ APC said.
The party said the truth is that President Goodluck Jonathan is very much aware that if the elections go ahead as scheduled, he will lose to Gen. Buhari by a landslide, adding that the President and his allies are terrified of meeting the APC at the polls.
APC also warned those who are manipulating some elements among judiciary workers, either to proceed on strike just so that the courts will not be able to sit on cases that can affect their candidates or to end the strike so they can seek to use the courts to achieve their objectives of truncating the elections, to desist from such acts.
‘’In particular, we will like to remind the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mohammed Bello Adoke to advise his principal and his aides not to abuse the courts or use it as a tool to truncate democracy. They must be careful not to throw the country into chaos for selfish reasons,’’ the party said.
It reiterated its earlier stand that the general elections must hold as scheduled on Feb. 14th and 28th, and that under no circumstance will Nigerians accept the postponement of the polls or the establishment of an Interim Government, which is the next option being secretly canvassed by the presidency if its plan to scuttle the elections fails.
‘’Next month’s general elections must hold and winners must be declared. Nothing short of this will be acceptable to us as a party,’’ APC said.