The Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has claimed that the presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was rigged to favour former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
Naija News reports that PANDEF made the claim in a statement issued on Sunday by its spokesman, Ken Robinson, in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital.
The forum stated that the PDP primary election was rigged from the start to favour Atiku, adding that the outcome of the exercise was predetermined.
According to PANDEF, there was no level playing ground for all the aspirants considering the number of delegates from the North compared to that of the South.
The forum also slammed the PDP for allowing Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State to announce his withdrawal from the race and support Atiku.
PANDEF stated that the action of the Sokoto governor was dubious and unfair, making the outcome of the exercise questionable.
The statement read, “The outcome of the presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party was predetermined.
“We knew long ago that this was what it would be. That is why they violated their zoning principle and left the party’s presidential ticket open.
“The southern aspirants, particularly, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, we would think had justifiable reasons not to have joined the “programmed” winner on the stage while he was giving his acceptance speech.
“Though the conduct of the primary election in terms of the accreditation of delegates, voting and counting of votes was transparent, orderly and unquestionable, the way and manner Governor Aminu Tambuwal was allowed to announce his withdrawal and support for the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, was, to, say the least, dubious and most unfair.
“Why was Tambuwal allowed to do that after all aspirants had made their speeches and voting was about to commence?
“It is also essential to note that the exercise was rigged ab initio; there was no level playing ground.
“The scale was skewed; they had one delegate from each of the 774 local government areas of the country, and of course, we know there are more local government areas in the North than the South, and given the swerving undercurrents of politics, the former Vice President was guaranteed to win the primary election.
“It is these situations that informed our insistence on the zoning of the presidential ticket for fairness, equity and balance.”
This article was originally published on Nigeria News